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Maurice Hooker Gets Off The Floor To Batter, Stop Alex Saucedo

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By Keith Idec

Alex Saucedo couldn’t survive this onslaught.

Maurice Hooker came to Saucedo’s hometown, the site of Saucedo’s incredible comeback against Lenny Zappavigna on June 30, and knocked out the game challenger in the seventh round Friday night. Dallas’ Hooker overcame a second-round knockdown, produced a knockdown of his own in the seventh round and finished off Saucedo several seconds later.

Referee Mark Nelson stopped their fight at 1:36 of the seventh round at Chesapeake Energy Arena, about two miles from where Saucedo grew up on the south side of Oklahoma City.

The 29-year-old Hooker (25-0-3, 17 KOs) made the first defense of the WBO junior welterweight title he won by defeating Terry Flanagan (33-2, 13 KOs) by split decision June 9 in Manchester, England, Flanagan’s hometown. The 24-year-old Saucedo suffered the first defeat of his professional career (28-1, 18 KOs).

“Me and my team, we had a good game plan,” Hooker said. “We stuck to it and we came out on top. I’ve gotta give thanks to God, to my boy, Alex, who was my friend before this fight, still my boy, and [trainer] Abel [Sanchez]. They had a good game plan, stuck to it. He’s a hell of a fighter.”

Hooker didn’t panic when Saucedo’s overhand right floored him just 49 seconds into the second round.

“I’m a true champion,” Hooker said. “I stayed calm, stayed relaxed. The third round, I came back. I stayed relaxed. He young, like I said, he hungry and he come to fight.

“Me and my coach knew if we get past four rounds, he get winded. … I knew [after the fourth], it would be my time to take over the fight. But I knew the first couple of rounds was gonna be tough for me, real tough, because he was coming.”

maurice-hooker (4)_6

An aggressive Hooker went on the offensive early in the seventh round and hurt his former sparring partner with a straight right hand. Another hard right hand buckled Saucedo’s legs, he stumbled and the ropes held him up with 1:56 to go in the seventh.

Nelson correctly counted that as a knockdown. Hooker wasted no time attacking Saucedo once the action continued.

A right hand, followed by a left and another right knocked a defenseless Saucedo into the ropes and caused Nelson to stop the fight.

“I thought I was up,” Saucedo said. “But it’s just that the cut [over his left eye] started getting in my way and I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see out of my left eye. So that’s when I started getting hit more, and, I mean, that punch came. This is boxing. This is what happens. You’ve gotta learn from that.”

Hooker connected with two straight right hands within the first 30 seconds of the sixth round, as Saucedo came forward, with his hands down. Hooker clipped Saucedo with a short left hook at about the 1:20 mark of the sixth.

Just before the sixth round ended, Saucedo and Hooker traded power shots during a vicious exchange in the center of the ring.

About a minute into the fifth round, Saucedo pressed Hooker and got into his chest. Saucedo didn’t land many clean punches when Hooker’s back was against the ropes, but Saucedo was relentless in pressuring the champion and threw many more punches than him.

Hooker conserved his energy and tried to steal the round by unleashing a flurry of punches with eight seconds to go.

Hooker knocked Saucedo off balance with a short left hook about 30 seconds into the fourth round. The defending champion also was able to use his jab better and kept Saucedo at a safer distance during the fourth round than in the previous three rounds.

Hooker and Saucedo continued to fight at a blistering pace in the third round. Neither fighter appeared to hurt his opponent in that round, though.

An overhand right by Saucedo dropped Hooker with 2:11 to go in the second round. Hooker got up and tried his best to keep out of Saucedo’s punching range.

Saucedo rocked Hooker with another right hand at the 1:18 mark of the second round, but Hooker took that shot better than the punch that knocked him down.

Hooker came back to catch Saucedo with a right hand when there were 22 seconds to go in the second round. That shot made Saucedo retreat and allowed Hooker to finish a that troublesome round strong.

Saucedo snapped back Hooker’s head with a stiff jab 32 seconds into their fight. Saucedo’s jab continued to land later in the first round, when he also landed multiple left hands to Hooker’s body.

Hooker was busier in that first round, as he was unofficially credited with landing 28-of-109 punches in those first three minutes.

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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by BaDaBingVIP2 on 11-19-2018

great scrap. hooker got caught early. saucedo has heart but too hittable. was an entertaining one.

Comment by marvin douglas on 11-19-2018

[QUOTE=theface07;19281006]He's nothing like Tommy Hearns. He's not a freakishly tall guy with a big punch who likes to fight on the inside with short hooks. What makes him a Tommy Hearns want-to-be?[/QUOTE] He tries to fight like Tommy. That's what…

Comment by PrBoxing88 on 11-18-2018

[QUOTE=theface07;19281010]I wouldn't speak too soon about that. Matias maybe but Verdejo still has to prove he can beat a C+/B level fighter.[/QUOTE]Im pretty sure Matias KO him and Verdejo definitely can beat him or KO him too.

Comment by LoadedWraps on 11-18-2018

Sounds like I missed a good one, 2k19 has been consuming me lol.

Comment by theface07 on 11-18-2018

[QUOTE=DuckAdonis;19278671]I find it very surprising how Golovkin is still one of the best in the world with Able Sanchez in his corner. With someone like Papachenko as his trainer Golovkin would be Soo much better. Golovkin is a very technical…

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