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Prograis: Pressure Got To Hooker In Hometown Loss To Ramirez

FRISCO, Texas – Regis Prograis experienced the pressure a fighter feels when boxing in his hometown.

The former WBA 140-pound champion has headlined cards in his native New Orleans and nearby Lafayette, Louisiana. As he sat ringside for the Jose Ramirez-Maurice Hooker fight seven months ago, Prograis noticed nervousness affecting Hooker.

Prograis, who’ll box Hooker on April 17 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, sensed Ramirez was much more relaxed in their fight for Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title and Hooker’s WBO junior welterweight championship. Ramirez, of Avenal, California, knocked out Hooker in the sixth round July 27 in Arlington, Texas, near Hooker’s hometown of Dallas.

“I think he was a little too confident,” Prograis told BoxingScene.com recently. “I looked at him, going into the fight, and sometimes when you’re in your hometown, that can be the worst thing because your nerves can get to you. Everybody he has ever known is at this fight. It’s just a lot of pressure on you. I think he had a lot of pressure on himself when he fought here. Ramirez didn’t have no pressure on him at all. He just had to fight.”

prograis-hooker (4)

Ramirez was ahead on two scorecards – 49-45, 48-46 and 47-47 – when he caught Hooker with a left hook that quickly led to the unbeaten champion finishing Hooker several seconds later.

“I was at the fight,” Prograis said. “It was going back and forth. He just got caught. That’s the main thing. Sometimes that happens. But it was going back and forth, and he was catching Ramirez with stuff. It was a great fight.”

Prograis is confident he’ll knock out Hooker as well, particularly if Hooker is as unsettled as Prograis sensed when he entered the ring to meet Ramirez.

“I think he was nervous in the fight because of the pressure of fighting at home,” Prograis said. “You have to have that perfect balance in boxing. You can’t be too, too confident. But you can’t be too nervous. It seemed to me that he was shaky. He seemed a little nervous and stuff like that.”

DAZN will stream the 12-round bout between Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) and Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KOs) next month from MGM National Harbor, just outside of Washington, D.C.

The 31-year-old Prograis will attempt to bounce back from his only loss – a 12-round, majority-decision defeat to Scotland’s Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) in their title unification fight October 26 at O2 Arena in London. In the 30-year-old Hooker’s only appearance since his loss to Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs), he stopped Uriel Perez (19-5, 17 KOs) in the first round December 20 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.

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

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by richardt on 03-15-2020

The pressure was the fists that Ramirez was punching Hooker in the face and body with. He may experience the same thing against Prograis.

Comment by Vodkaholic on 03-14-2020

Rooting for hooker in this one

Comment by factsarenice on 03-14-2020

Today competitive fights are champions facing hand picked beatable challengers that refuse to cooperate. This fight is a totally different animal. These guys truly dare to be great and want to prove it in the ring. Like a time machine…

Comment by 1hourRun on 03-14-2020

[img]https://i.imgur.com/8uBOa0E.gif[/img] WOLFPACK IN THE HOUSE!!! BODY-BAGS!!!

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