Rising talent Marcus Morrison talks Welborn showdown
By Shaun Brown
A lot of things look good on paper.
The Scottish Football team.
And sometimes a fighterís record can look good on paper too. but what you read on Boxrec might promise one thing and then fail to deliver when it matters the most.
Marcus Morrisonís first acid test as a pro looks like it will present itself in the shape of 30-year-old Jason Welborn this Saturday night inside the Manchester Arena as part of the Jorge Linares-Anthony Crolla 2 undercard.
Welborn may, at some point, be described as a seasoned campaigner by the commentary team in Manchester but the Midlander has danced the sweet science in his own way with the likes of Frankie Gavin, Liam Smith and Matthew Macklin. Credible performances on each occasion, but Welborn can also slip on a banana skin named William Warburton as he did last May.
Welborn does hold wins over Ryan Aston, Terry Carruthers, Max Maxwell while Marcus Morrison, unbeaten in 14 starts, and quietly beginning to make strides under Joe Gallagher, only went past the second round once in six starts last year.
So, on paperÖ
ďI think itís a step up on paper,Ē Morrison told us.
ďAnd who heís fought, itís a step up in class if you look at it like that. The way I look at it is itís not a step up in class for me. When it comes down to skill and what Iím about I donít think it is a massive step up. I think in this fight Iíll be able to show off exactly what Iím capable of and show my skills.Ē
A showcase is what Morrison needs right about now. The 24-year-old Mancunian has been going about his business on big shows with the Manchester Arena, where he fights on Saturday, beginning to feel like a second home for him.
The middleweightís resume in 2016 of Istvan Kiss, Janos Varga, Jefferson De Sousa, Konstantin Alexandrov, Matiouze Royer and Harry Matthews might not exactly be sending tremors amongst his British rivals at 160lbs, but enough noise is being made so that the name is known without being shouted about. And it might not be too long before messrs Langford, Arnfield, Rose, Doran and Cunningham begin to look at Morrison as a serious threat to their own ambitions. Especially if he were to do a Ďjobí on Welborn. Something that he seems confident of pulling off.
ďTo be honest Iíve never took much notice of Welborn,Ē he remarked.
ďIíve seen fights here and there, but not kept an eye on and thought ĎOh this is a fight that Iíd like to be a part ofí. I canít say I have. But Iíve watched him since the fight was made.
ďTo be honest I donít look at fighters in their worst fights, I look at them when theyíre at their best when heís well up for a fight against the likes of Macklin, Liam Smith and what not. These are fights he was well up for and had good preparation for. Iím not going to watch a bad Jason Welborn. Iíve watched a good Jason Welborn. I know heís had a good preparation for this, a good eight weeks. I know heís already been in camp so heíll be fit, thatís one thing you can be sure of. Heíll keep coming forward.
ďSkilful wise, technical wise I feel like Iím a lot better but he will be there for 10 rounds if I donít get rid of him. If he does try to take me into deep waters, like he said he wants to do, then Iíve got to make sure Iím more than prepared to war in the late rounds.Ē
Morrison may be in his infancy as a pro but he bears all the hallmarks of a Joe Gallagher fighter, none more so when you speak to him outside the ring. Thereís traces of Gallagher in what he says, you can tell heís been schooled well in preparation for those who will question him with their firsts and those with a tape recorder. His education is daily and he loves every single part of it, whether it be in the gym staying in shape or walking the same Manchester Arena corridors as the likes of Crolla and Scott Quigg on a fight night of his own.
One particular night in February last year showed Morrison what a big British boxing night can bring you. Taking it all in, taking it in his stride so he has every base covered for when his time comes to be top of the bill.
ďThe Quigg and Frampton bill was huge,Ē he recalled.
ďIt was massive for Quigg and it was nice to be a part of it. Walk the same corridors as the fighters do and the workouts as well, it all stands me in good stead for bigger things to come. And although the build-up wasnít for me, I still felt a part of the show. And like I said when itís my time to be topping bills Iíll be more than ready because those sorts of things will have stood me in good stead.Ē
ĎOne fight at a timeí - those will be the words of most boxers when you talk to them, and Morrison is no different. Why put a timescale on something when youíre a student who is into his third year of learning? That doesnít mean Ďambitioní is some sacred word that should only be whispered when no-oneís listening. Boxers are only human. They may tell you theyíre taking one fight at a time but in the back of their mind there is an end game objective for every year.
ďIím hoping to get right in the mix at British domestic level. Touch wood I get (March) 25th out the way, Iím pretty sure I will. Iím training hard, Iím in a good place and Iím very confident Iíll get the job done. Keep on winning, stay active and by the end of 2017 like I said Iíd like to be in the mix for the British title.Ē
Something currently in the possession of the educated Tommy Langford. A man who steps into the depths of world level on April 22nd against Avtandil Khurtsidze.
ďTommy Langfordís a good fighter, not long become British champion and has been pro a good few years. Iíve only been pro just over two years so Iíve got a lot of learning to do, but when I feel the time is right me and Joe will put myself in the mix for British titles, but I think itís just a case of when I feel ready.
ďWhen Iíve got those rounds in the bank whether itís eight months, 12 months or 18 months just as long as Iím ready and comfortable doing the rounds then thatís when Iíll be at British title level. Iím not going to put a time limit on it. Itíll just be when Iím ready and I do feel I am heading in the right direction.Ē
Follow Shaun Brown on Twitter @sbrown2pt0