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Saucedo: Hooker Fought A Dead Man; Fredrickson Fight Will Show Real Me

When Alex Saucedo stepped on the scale just before he began training camp for his world title fight against Maurice Hooker, it read 189 pounds.

A then-undefeated Saucedo had nine weeks to lose nearly 50 pounds for that 12-round championship match. Saucedo somehow came in one pound below the junior welterweight limit of 140, but he completely depleted himself while shedding so much weight while training.

Saucedo knocked Hooker to the canvas early in the second round of a title fight that was held in his hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Hooker got up, though, and by the third round Saucedo felt spent.

Hooker dropped and stopped Saucedo in the seventh round to retain his WBO junior welterweight title.

“I felt like Hooker fought a dead man,” Saucedo told BoxingScene.com. “It was a horrible experience, but it taught me so many things and I believe this fight is gonna show the real Alex Saucedo. I got too comfortable by going into camp, doing the same thing and winning by knockout. It took that loss for me to wake up and say, ‘Hey, you don’t wanna put yourself through this ever again.’ That made me make all the changes.”

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The 26-year-old Saucedo (29-1, 19 KOs) will fight for just the second time Tuesday night since Hooker beat him in November 2018. He’ll encounter Sonny Fredrickson (21-2, 14 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, in a 10-round welterweight fight ESPN will air as the main event of a four-fight broadcast from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Saucedo’s first fight following that loss, a first-round knockout of Rod Salka (24-6, 4 KOs) on November 2 in Carson, California, lasted only two minutes and 17 seconds. That marked Saucedo’s debut with his new trainers, Pedro Neme Jr. and Eddie Autry, who replaced Abel Sanchez after he lost to Hooker.

“I feel like I have a lot more skills to show,” Saucedo said. “With the old team that I had, it was just like going forward and using my power. And I have a lot more skills than just going forward and using my power. I needed a real teacher to go in there and get that out of me. I can’t wait for [Tuesday night] to show the improvements.”

Saucedo’s defensive deficiencies have made many of his fights entertaining, yet punishing physically for the young contender. His unforgettable brawl with Lenny Zappavigna (37-4, 27 KOs) resulted in a seventh-round TKO win in June 2018 that secured Saucedo’s shot at Hooker’s title.

Following rough back-to-back bouts, Saucedo went 11 months without a bout between losing to Hooker and knocking out Salka.

“I did feel refreshed,” Saucedo said. “I felt like I needed that. That whole year, I went with my new trainers and started working things out with them. I know how it is when you’re changing trainers and then go into a fight. Sometimes you don’t get to know each other. So, I wanted to take a whole year of learning and putting everything in my brain, so that when fight night comes everything would be there and we wouldn’t have any misunderstandings in the corner. That’s really what that year was about. But it felt really good on my body, that year off.”

The Saucedo-Fredrickson fight originally was scheduled as part of the Naoya Inoue-Johnriel Casimero undercard April 25 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. That card was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was rescheduled nearly six weeks ago as the headliner of a show slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

“We’re looking to put our name back at the top of the list for the 140-pound division,” Saucedo said. “I believe this is a good fight to show where we’re at, and to get my name back out there. Fredrickson’s not a pushover.” 

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

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by -SWIFT- on 06-30-2020

Nah dude you just suck and block punches with your face.

Comment by Bronx23 on 06-30-2020

He's young, game and yes man probably had him slippin, happens to a lot of guys - they get comfortable too fast. Hopefully he's learned from it.

Comment by tokon on 06-30-2020

So Saucedo's excuse for a loss is his indiscipline and unprofessionalism?!

Comment by Squ□redCircle34 on 06-30-2020

His discipline was his own undoing, he could’ve probably still beaten Hooker even with Sanchez’s style as Hooker doesn’t like pressure and combinations! Anyways, I think Saucedo is young enough to bounce back provided those 2 brutal fights hasn’t left…

Comment by Greenfield02 on 06-30-2020

By Alex telling us he allowed himself to balloon up to 189, should tell us that he has a lack of commitment, maybe I'm wrong, but that's just way to much weight to gain between fights. If he's fighting at…

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