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Terry Flanagan vs. Maurice Hooker for WBO Belt in Play For April

Frank Warren, promoter for Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 KOs), is working on a deal for a showdown with Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KOs) for a date in April, with the vacant WBO junior welterweight title at stake.

Flanagan is ranked at number 1 by the WBO, while Hooker is sitting in the number 2 position.

The belt became vacant when champion Terence Crawford dropped the strap (and three others) to make the jump to the welterweight division, with a fight against world champion Jeff Horn on tap for an April date as well.

flanagan-hooker

Flanagan hit the ring once in 2017, when he retained his WBO lightweight crown with an April twelve round unanimous decision win over tough as nails Petr Petrov. A planned fight against Felix Verdejo was called off when the Puerto Rican star suffered an injury in training camp.

There were then negotiations to have a unification bout with WBA champion Jorge Linares, and a looming mandatory defense against Ray Beltran, but all of that was cast aside when Flanagan made the decision to move up in weight. Under the rules of the WBO, when a world champion vacates a title in order to move up in weight, he automatically becomes the mandatory challenger in the new division.

Hooker, who holds the NABO title, has been in action twice in 2017.

In February, he traveled to Mexico to win a ten round unanimous decision over faded former champion Critsobal Cruz in Tijuana.

And then he came back to the ring in August to win another lopsided ten round decision over undefeated Courtney Jackson at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Texas.

The fight with Flanagan would be Hooker's biggest test to date, after going to a controversial draw with former world champion Darlys Perez back in November 2016 as part of the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev undercard at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Chrismart on 12-14-2017

I like Flanagan's chances here.

Comment by Mick Higgs on 12-14-2017

Looks like another hometown contest for the Flannel then!

Comment by 1hourRun on 12-14-2017

This bum was crying about not being able to find a credible opponent at lightweight but when Jorge Linares pulled his card for a unification, he runs off to jr. welter to cherry-pick a prospect who has three draws on…

Comment by sammybee on 12-14-2017

I expect Terry to win this belt because of his experience.

Comment by BigZ44 on 12-13-2017

I keep saying Flanagan is there for the taking, but they keep matching him up with fringe contenders, so he keeps successfully defending his belt. Hooker is overrated and will probably lose this fight and the Flanagan train will keep…

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