Armory commands another big boxing night — and some fighting words

Boxing returned to a remodeled Minneapolis Armory in April 2018 and the 14th card will be held Saturday night. The main event this time will be the largest from a national perspective, even though it features 122-pounders: Stephen Fulton and Daniel Roman.

Fulton, 27, defeated two unbeaten champions in 2021 and now holds the super bantamweight titles for the WBO and WBC. Roman, 32, held the WBA and IBF titles before losing a split decision to Murodjon Akhmadaliev in January 2020.

The co-main event will have David Morrell Jr., 24, the unbeaten Cuban (6-0) with a Minneapolis connection, defending a WBA super middleweight title against Kalvin Henderson, 31, a large underdog even with a 15-1-1 career record.

The Armory has been tied in with Premier Boxing Champions since the start of this Minneapolis boxing rebirth. This will be the second straight card on Showtime — the sport’s No. 1 showcase — after the first dozen were held on Fox and FS1.

There was an alleged press conference to introduce the fighters locally Thursday at the W Hotel, although all the questions came from Showtime’s Ray Flores.

“Questions” might also be a stretch, as Flores, resplendent in a baby-blue suit with vest, followed boxing tradition and mostly made statements intended to elicit rudeness from the fighters toward one another.

Try as he might for this 30-minute session for YouTube, Flores ran into a brick wall with the underdog Roman, nor could he get much of a rise from Henderson.

Fultonis 20-0 and his last four victories have come against unbeaten fighters. His last fight was a tremendous 12-round majority decision when he took away Brandon Figueroa’s WBC title belt last November.

Roman is 29-3-1 and has not had a fight since May 2021. As Roman was holding two belts in the previous decade, Fulton was agitating on social media for a title fight.

“I’ve called him out,” Fulton said. “When I didn’t have titles, he didn’t look in my direction. Now, I’m giving him the chance that he didn’t give me.

Flores and a few Fulton fans in the small audience “oohed” at the alleged slam toward Roman. “Those sound like fighting words to me,” Flores said to the former champ.

“No, no, no … you have to be respectful,” Roman said. “He did call me out. I had different plans. But you know what? I’m here now.”

Flores’ statements to Morrell had to pass through an interpreter. After Henderson expressed the potential for an upset win, Morrell’s response (as interpreted) was: “I’m glad he has enthusiasm. It’s a shame he’s going to go home with a loss. Come in and win? That’s not going to happen. It’s superfluous in my mind.”

Maybe it was the use of “superfluous” in Spanish, but Flores encouraged Henderson to be offended by Morrell’s bold comments.

“He’s supposed to feel that way,” Henderson said. “He’s the champ.”

About the fights

Saturday’s full Premier Boxing Champions card starts at 5 pm The TV portion starts at 8 pm Tickets are available through the Armory box office at 612-315-3965 and online.

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