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Hooker: I Was Shocked; Thought They Would Rob Me in England

By Keith Idec

Maurice Hooker didn’t expect to leave the ring Saturday night with the WBO junior welterweight title.

The Dallas native knew he had out-boxed Terry Flanagan in their 12-round, 140-pound title bout and deserved the victory.

Hooker just didn’t think he would win a decision in Flanagan’s hometown of Manchester, England.

hooker-flanagan-fight (3)

Two judges proved him wrong, however, as Hooker defeated the favored Flanagan by split decision and returned to the United States a world champion. England’s Phil Edwards (117-111) and South Africa’s Deon Dwarte (115-113) scored their competitive championship match for Hooker, who lost on the scorecard of Illinois’ Jerry Jakubco (117-111).

“I thought they were gonna rob me,” Hooker told BoxingScene.com. “I was over there in England and I thought they were gonna give the fight to him, just because he’s from there and he’s one of the main guys there.”

The 28-year-old Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KOs) was more than pleasantly surprised when the scores were read following just his second fight outside the United States and his debut in the United Kingdom.

“When I got the decision, I couldn’t believe it,” said Hooker, who would only give Flanagan a rematch in the United States. “I was in shock, that they gave me a fair chance and that the judges called the right call. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream come true.”

The 29-year-old Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs), a former WBO lightweight champ, was a heavy favorite over Hooker entering Flanagan’s move up to the 140-pound limit. The previously unbeaten southpaw had difficulty dealing with Hooker’s height and reach, though, and couldn’t hurt his opponent in the main event at Manchester Arena.

“The game plan was to go in there and do me, make him adjust to me and fight my fight, not his fight,” Hooker said. “I blocked the crowd out and did what I had to do to come out with the win.”

Hooker won the WBO 140-pound championship Terence Crawford vacated last year to move up to the welterweight division.

Hooker trained alongside Crawford for the Flanagan fight in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) won the WBO welterweight title by stopping Australia’s Jeff Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in the ninth round Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Diegosome1 on 06-15-2018

[QUOTE=mlac;18863677]Like they robbed Perez in America?[/QUOTE] Exactly, that was bs

Comment by AdonisCreed on 06-15-2018

Funny how the guy who felt he lost the fight was from the United States for crying out loud SMH

Comment by GlassJoey on 06-15-2018

Hooker knows that he can fight as well as Flanagan did and win in US! I have to disagree about ‘not hurting Hooker’. There was a stage where Flanagan had him hurt but it was the end of the round…

Comment by Bigchip on 06-15-2018

Really dude? Here’s guy who has AT LEAST three gift decisions and now he’s worried HE might get robbed? Come on guy.

Comment by Marvlus Marv on 06-15-2018

I tipped Turbo to beat Hooker but I hate to say it he was really pisspoor on the night except for the final round. Terry didn't even deserve a draw with that showing. And Hooker is no more than a…

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