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Hooker: I Was Unprofessional; Didn't Take Last Fight Seriously

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Maurice Hooker stepped on and off the scale so many times March 8, he lost count.

The WBO junior welterweight champion eventually got down to his division’s 140-pound limit that day for his optional title defense versus Mikkel LesPierre.

“I wasn’t gonna lose my belt on the scale because I worked so hard to get it,” Hooker told BoxingScene.com. “I was willing to do anything. I was willing to pass out to make weight because I worked so hard.”

maurice-hooker (6)_6

Struggling so much to make weight for that bout taught Hooker an invaluable lesson, though. His weigh-in ordeal has served as a reminder of how to properly prepare throughout training camp for his upcoming title unification fight against Jose Ramirez.

“I should’ve took that fight more seriously,” Hooker said of his 12-round win over LesPierre. “He was good, but I knew he couldn’t beat me. He wasn’t on my level. So, I should’ve took that fight more seriously, with the weight, and been more professional. I learned from that fight. No matter who I fight, I’ve gotta be disciplined, hard on myself.”

The 29-year-old Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KOs) beat Brooklyn’s LesPierre (21-1-1, 10 KOs) by wide distances on all three scorecards (120-107, 119-108, 118-109). The Dallas native still wasn’t pleased with his performance nearly four months ago at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

“I watched the fight,” Hooker said. “I was too heavy. I was sluggish. I hurt him, but I couldn’t finish the job. I was worried that I might get tired. That was in the back of my head. I didn’t get tired, but I was afraid to step on the gas to get him out of there.”

Hooker addressed what he considers a sub-par performance with his team following that fight.

“That was my fault,” Hooker said. “I apologized to everybody for it. I’m a world champion, and I should’ve came in on weight, you know?”

Hooker expects a much more difficult fight from Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs), the WBC 140-pound champion, when they meet July 27. DAZN will stream their scheduled 12-rounder from College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, just outside of Hooker’s hometown.

“He’s a good fighter,” Hooker said. “He was on the Olympic team [in 2012]. He’s very disciplined. He’s got a good left hook to the body, good left hook to the head. He dropped Antonio Orozco with the left hook to the body. He comes straight forward. He’s a good fighter, so I know he’s coming and he can go 12 rounds, hard.”

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

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by MeanestNiceGuy on 07-08-2019

Ready for the Ramirez fight, but I'll say this as I've always said....when a guy misses weight ONCE, I can't trust myself with supporting them any further. It's not like I don't like Hooker, but I just don't see how…

Comment by Corelone on 07-08-2019

Sounds like excuses to me. What's he going to say after Ramirez thumps him, I didn't eat right ?

Comment by SplitSecond on 07-08-2019

Didn’t know ramirez-hooker was made. Great fight.

Comment by TrillScottHeron on 07-08-2019

I’m such a fan of Mighty Mo ever since he got off the campus to stop Saucedo. It might be (excluding Wilder/Fury) my favorite fight of 2018.

Comment by slimPickings on 07-08-2019

Hooker has grown on me too. Hope he can manage his weight issues so it does not impact his performance against Ramirez cos it is not going to be an easy rumble.

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