If Oklahoma State played Savannah State every week, Oklahoma State would never lose.

If Oklahoma played Akron every week, Oklahoma would never lose.

Through the first four years and four months of his professional boxing career, Trey Lippe Morrison has been matched mostly with opponents who are the Savannah States and Akrons of the fight game.

While Lippe Morrison has a perfect record — 15 fights, 15 victories, 15 knockouts — it’s impossible to know what his ultimate marketability and success level might look like.

His 15 opponents have a current combined record of 111-82-7.

He had no amateur experience, so his lifetime total on competitive boxing experience amounts to only 25 rounds.

At Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena last week, Lippe Morrison — the son of Tommy Morrison — was matched with Byron Polley of St. Joseph, Missouri. Polley was a veteran of 53 fights, but the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Lippe Morrison was the substantially better and more powerful athlete.

After scoring five knockdowns, Lippe Morrison finished Polley with a left hook at 1:39 of the third round.

“Where I am exactly, I don’t know,” said Lippe Morrison, who hails from Vinita and resides and trains in Tulsa. “I’m getting better, step by step. I need time to learn and get better, and I’m not afraid to say that.”

What’s next?

More Savannah States?

Or might Lippe Morrison soon be positioned to face world-ranked opponents, and to do it on significant television platforms?

During the Lippe Morrison-Polley bout, renowned promoter Bob Arum was an interesting presence at ringside.

The 86-year-old Arum got his first live look at Lippe Morrison, and Arum’s Top Ranking promotional company may get involved in promoting the Oklahoma heavyweight.

Tulsa-based Tony Holden was Morrison’s primary promoter during the 1990s and is Lippe Morrison’s promoter now.

Within the next few months, Holden says he will position Lippe Morrison in a Showtime- or ESPN-televised fight.

“At that point, let’s go,” Holden said. “Let’s see where we are. Everyone is looking for the next heavyweight stars, and the eyes of Top Rank are on Trey. Top Rank is watching closely.”

There are two points of value with Lippe Morrison, Arum said: He is an American heavyweight with tremendous punching power, and he has a recognizable name.

“Trey bears the name of Morrison, and Tommy Morrison was a hell of a heavyweight,” Arum explained. “(Top Rank does) about three shows a month, so we can give Trey a lot of fights. His name does mean something, but he’s got to be able to fight.”

Arum promoted the 1975 Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier “Thrilla in Manila” and the 1985 Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler classic, and in 1993 Arum and Holden were production teammates on the biggest combat-sport show in Oklahoma history — the HBO-televised Tulsa Shootout at the Convention Center.

Four months after winning the WBO belt, Morrison agreed to challenge Lennox Lewis in a huge-money bout during the spring of 1994.

Instead of being idle during an extended layoff, however, Morrison decided to take a tune-up bout against unknown New Yorker Michael Bentt. Their meeting was the Tulsa Shootout main event, and the outcome was shocking: Bentt recorded a first-round KO of Morrison, who hadn’t properly trained and didn’t regard Bentt as a threat.

That setback resulted in a cancellation of the Lewis fight and what would have been the most lucrative deal of Morrison’s career.

“It was the dumbest (bleeping) move ever made.” Arum now says of Morrison’s decision to defend his championship against Bentt. “Tommy didn’t even get a million dollars for the Bentt fight. I don’t think Tommy got more than $500,000 or $600,000, and you saw what happened.”

Twenty-five years later, Arum may get involved in the promotion of Morrison’s son.

While Lippe Morrison’s development has been disrupted by a torn hand tendon and a terrible facial laceration, and by having worked with several trainers, he today is a healthy 28-year-old who could have a revealing and exciting 2019.

Bill Haisten



Twitter: @billhaisten

Sports Columnist

Bill joined the Tulsa World in 1990. Prior to having become a sports columnist in 2016, he was the only sports writer in Tulsa World history to have covered OU, OSU, the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts sports on an everyday basis. Phone: 918-581-8397