Despite unknown opponent, Lippe-Morrison set for Friday night fight

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Trey Lippe-Morrison is all set to resume his professional boxing career at tonight’s “Rumble in the Rose District.”

The undefeated heavyweight knockout artist of the Four State Franchise participated in Thursday’s press conference at Evolved Health and Fitness and then weighed in at 237 pounds.

The only thing missing for Lippe-Morrison (16-0, 16 KOs) was an opponent.

Yes, a day before the 29-year-old native of Vinita, Oklahoma, fights on the non-televised undercard of “ShoBox: A New Generation” in the largest suburb of Tulsa, Lippe-Morrison has no idea who he’ll face inside the squared circle.

“We’ve had four opponents and they’ve all fallen out,” Four State Franchise promoter Tony Holden explained. “The last guy fell out (Thursday) about 30 minutes before this press conference. We’ve got two options. We’ll end up with an opponent. Trey’s entering the ring tomorrow night.”

Lippe-Morrison noted he prepares for each fight the same way, regardless of the opponent.

“To me it doesn’t really matter,” Lippe-Morrison said. “You don’t really figure out your opponent until you’re in the ring with them anyway. Hopefully it gets situated. I’ll be ready and I look forward to putting on a good show.”

Holden, who is co-promoting tonight’s event with Dmitriy Salita, noted it’s becoming harder and harder to find opponents for Lippe-Morrison.

“It’s almost impossible,” Holden said. “Opponents look at his record and they see 16-0 with 16 knockouts. No one’s gone the distance with him. But I give Trey all the credit and respect in the world for fighting after not knowing who it’s going to be the day before. It takes a strong will to do that.”

Tonight’s sold-out event was originally scheduled to be held outdoors in the Rose District, but there’s been a change of plans. Due to a possibility of rain, the show will now be held at the Central Park Community Center.

“It’s disappointing we’re not outdoors, but it’s still going to be fun,” Holden said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to bring Showtime back to Oklahoma.”

It’s been a whirlwind month and a half for Lippe-Morrison as he finished up training with Freddie Roach in Hollywood, traveled to Costa Rica for a bout last month and then began training with Bobby Benton in Houston, Texas, before venturing home to the Sooner State for his second fight in just over five weeks.

“It’s been non-stop,” said Lippe-Morrison, who signed autographs at a number of Broken Arrow locations on Wednesday night. “After the fight in Costa Rica, Tony said he had another one for me if I wanted it. I was already in shape, so I took this fight and here we are. I’ve been busy, but it’s been fun.”

Although he won’t be fighting on television, Lippe-Morrison noted being part of a Showtime event can only help him gain more exposure as he attempts to ascend the heavyweight ranks.

Boxing historian Steve Farhood, who will join Barry Tompkins and former world champion Raul Marquez as Showtime’s announce team, would likely agree with that assessment. Farhood took time to comment on his impressions and the potential of Lippe-Morrison, who is now the 23rd-ranked American heavyweight.

“He’s been low-profile lately, but he’s a heavyweight and he’s still young,” Farhood said. “And when you’re a heavyweight, all it takes is one fight. You win one key fight and you’re in the mix. We saw that with Andy Ruiz. Trey has the name and the power. I think he’s got a big future.”

The televised main event of “ShoBox: The New Generation” will feature Vladimir Shishkin (8-0) of Russia against DeAndre Ware (13-1-2) of Toledo, Ohio, in a 10-round super middleweight clash.

The super lightweight co-feature has Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0) of Uzbekistan vs. Abdiel Ramirez (24-4-1) of Mexico, while the opening bout of the telecast will feature Ukrainian Arnold Khegai (15-0-1) vs. Russian Vladimir Tikhonov (17-1) in a super bantamweight clash

Also on the undercard will be Jaron Ennis (22-0) vs. Franklin Mamani (23-5-1) in a junior middleweight bout, Izim Izbaki (1-0) vs. Armonte Summers (1-1) in heavyweight action, Brandun Lee (15-0) vs. Francisco Medel (13-20) in a welterweight scrap and Mike Matulis (5-0) vs. Jon Hill (6-7) in a heavyweight bout.

Doors open at 6 tonight and the undercard is scheduled to begin at 6:30. The show goes live on Showtime at 9.

Trey Lippe-Morrison (right) answers a question at Thursday’s press conference while Four State Franchise promoter Tony Holden (back) and Vladimir Shiskin look on at Evolved Heath and Fitness ahead of tonight’s “Rumble in the Rose District” in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Globe | jason peake

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