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Maurice Hooker vs Darleys Perez Added To Kovalev-Ward Undercard

By Jake Donovan

Event handlers continue to add to what remains the centerpiece of the fall boxing schedule that is Sergey Kovalev's defense of his slew of light heavyweight titles versus unbeaten former super middleweight king Andre Ward. 

Another preliminary bout has been finalized for the November 19 event, which airs live on HBO Pay-Per-View from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unbeaten super lightweight contender Maurice Hooker will take on former lightweight titlist Darleys Perez in a scheduled 10-round clash. 

Their bout represents the undercard slot allotted to event co-promoter Roc Nation Sports (RNS), which also has Ward under contract.

“Not only is Kovalev-Ward the most anticipated fight in recent boxing history, with the addition of Hooker-Perez to the televised undercard – Nov. 19 is an evening that international sports fans simply cannot afford to miss,” said Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy Michael R. Yormark in a statement through the RNS press office.

“From our very first day in boxing, Roc Nation Sports has committed to making great fights and creating scintillating global events, and we are thrilled to work with Main Events (Kovalev's promoter) to add this incredible matchup to the undercard, as 'Mighty Mo' Hooker puts his undefeated record on the line against the very talented Colombian Darleys Perez.” 

The event will mark the third straight time that Hooker (21-0-2, 16KOs) will appear on the undercard of a boxing show headlined by Ward, all of which will have come in 2016. The undefeated boxer from Dallas has been a quick hit in each of his previous two bouts, scoring consecutive 1st round knockouts over Wilfrido Buelvas and Ty Barnett, both of which came on the non-televised portion of Ward-headlined HBO telecasts.

This time, the 27-year old gets to perform live on camera. 

“I want to thank my team at Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Roc Nation Sports and HBO for giving me the opportunity to show the world a ‘Mighty Mo’ performance on the undercard of the ‘Fight of the Year’,” said Hooker. “For my part, I promise to put on a show for the fans in Las Vegas and the Pay-Per-View audience at home. No one punches like me. It’s going to be lights out.

“I will be dedicating this fight to Aaron Pyror, who passed away, earlier this week. I can’t think of a better way to honor ‘The Hawk’s’ legacy than with a big win. I look to be a world-class junior welterweight champion like him.”

To do so, he will have to get past a boxer familiar with the title stage.

Perez (33-2-1, 21KOs) rises in weight after having spent the overwhelming majority of his career as a lightweight. The 33-year old from Colombia first hit the boxing radar in a 10-round split decision win over Bahodir Mamadjonov in their Aug. '12 ESPN2-televised matchup of unbeaten prospects. He proved valiant in defeat in a June '13 loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa before rattling off four more victories. 

Among the wins was an interim title-claiming nod over Jonathan Maicelo in Jan. '09. His reign lasted just 10 months and was without a win, his lone successful defense coming in a disputed draw versus Anthony Crolla last July before suffering a knockout loss in their rematch last November. 

Perez has since returned with a 2nd round knockout win this past May in his native Colombia, but aspires for much more in his boxing future.

“This is my chance get back into the limelight,” Perez insists.. vI have fought all over the world and facing Maurice Hooker in Las Vegas on November 19 is perhaps my last chance to show that I have a lot left inside the ring and I plan to take full advantage of it because losing is not an option.

“I will move up to the 140-pound division and I will be ready to challenge this young lion who has never fought a guy like me before. There will be fireworks in Las Vegas and I plan to go home a winner.”

Headlining the show, Kovalev (30-0-1, 27KOs) attempts the ninth defense of at least one light heavyweight title, while Ward (30-0, 15KOs) looks to become a two-division world champion.

Both have been afforded two stay-busy fights in 2016, all of which have aired on HBO. Kovalev scored a one-sided 9th round knockout win over Jean Pascal in their rematch in January, but was forced to work much harder against the crafty Isaac Chilemba in taking a 12-round decision in his native Russia in July - his first fight in his birth country since 2011. 

Chilemba (24-4-2, 15KOs) will appear on the televised undercard, hoping to end a two-fight losing streak as he takes on unbeaten prospect Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0, 9KOs). 

Ward's path to this event has been a bit softer, enjoying a pair of hometown showcases. The fighting pride of Oakland, Calif. outpointed previously unbeaten Sullivan Barrera on Easter weekend, then moved on to pitch a 12-round shutout over grossly overmatched Alexander Brand this past August.

Twitter: @JakeNDaBox_v2

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by CaneloMaidana on 10-14-2016

[QUOTE=daggum;17121706]roc nation and their garbage[/QUOTE] It's actually a good fight you casual.

Comment by r1onnie2 on 10-14-2016

Decent lil fight.

Comment by daggum on 10-14-2016

roc nation and their garbage

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
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