MIAMI — Kenzie Morrison gets a rematch with Aaron Chavers Friday night at Buffalo Run Casino & Resort.
But the Morrison that climbs into the ring will be radically different than the one that battled Chavers to a majority draw at Buffalo Run on Aug. 29.
“I am with a whole new trainer and am on a whole new program,” said Morrison, who is the son of the late Tommy “The Duke” Morrison and is the half-brother of Trey Lippe Morrison, who is recuperating from hand surgery.
“I have done a lot of things different,” Kenzie Morrison said. “A lot of my running has changed. A lot of my mittwork and a lot of the overall style that they’ve got me working on has changed. I’ve been working on a lot more defense than I was working on last time, a lot more countering, flat jabs, slip jabs and being more elusive. I’m going to the body a lot more.”
In his first outing under Kevin Lightburn of Straightright Boxing in Springdale, Arkansas, Morrison scored a TKO victory at 2:19 of the first round against Dieuly Aristilde here on Feb. 10.
For the first time, Morrison has been working with a nutritionist as he gains weight.
“I went up to about 232 (pounds) then picked up a lot of sparring and got down to around 220,” he said.
In 2015, he gained 17 pounds in only about two months.
“A lot of that was ‘bad’ weight,” he said. “I was eating a lot of cheeseburgers and stuff just trying to put any sort of weight on because before that, I was fighting at 210, 208 … I was a small heavyweight.”
He’s aiming for 225 pounds.
“I am walking around at 220 right now, and that is natural weight,” Morrison said. “I think that I need to be around 225 or 230, but that’s going to have to be put on with weights.”
In the first Morrison-Chavers battle, judge Henry Guearey had Morrison winning 58-56, but Henry Ellick and Jerry Griffin called it a 57-57 stalemate.
That was his second draw in the span of six fights. Morrison and Chris Harris battled to a stalemate on Aug. 29, 2015, in Joplin.
Morrison’s newest 4 State Franchise teammate — Charles Conwell — will make his professional debut against Jeremiah Page of Andover, Kansas.
Conwell, a highly decorated amateur fighter, was a member of the 2016 USA Olympic boxing team.
Page sports a 3-3-0 record with two knockouts.
The main event will be a 10-round battle between Billel Dib of Sydney, Australia, and Yuandale Evans of Cleveland, Ohio.
Dib, ranked No. 7 by the WBO and No. 13 by the WBA, improved to 21-1 when he topped Colombian contender Carlos Padilla in an eight-rounds in a December card here that was televised by Showtime.
Evans, like Conwell, hails from Cleveland. He’s 18-1 with 14 KOs, eight of those coming in the first round.
Evans is the WBC Youth champion, logging a fifth-round KO of Ruslan Berchuk.
In a four-round junior middleweight fight that opens the non-televised show, Aaron Roberson of Welch makes his professional debut against Travis Nero of Norman, who also will be making his debut in the pro ranks.