Rising Dallas, Texas boxing star and NABO Junior Welterweight Champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (21-0-2, 16 KOs) will defend his NABA junior welterweight title against Darleys Perez (33-2-1, 21 KOs) in a ten-round bout on the televised undercard of Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” on Saturday, Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
In his last appearance on August 6, Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker captivated the crowd at Oracle Arena as the co-feature of Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand. Hooker wasted no time outperforming Washington D.C.’s Tyrone Barnett, landing a flurry of punches before scoring a technical knockout at the 2:17 mark of the opening round to retain his NABO junior welterweight title. Hooker looks ahead to his next challenge, former WBA World Lightweight Champion Darleys Perez. Perez is coming off a May 20 knockout victory over fellow Colombian Ubadel Soto, an impressive bounce back following a tough title defense loss to Anthony Crolla, the previous year. The veteran fighter, who resides and trains full-time in the U.S., will step up a weight class to meet Hooker.
“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.”
Hooker added, “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.”
“This is my chance get back into the limelight. I 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,” said Perez. “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.”
“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. “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 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.”
“HBO is the pinnacle of pugilistic entertainment. We are very proud to have Maurice Hooker make both his Las Vegas and HBO Pay-Per-View debut on November 19,” said Arnie Verbeek, Hooker’s manager. “We have worked extremely hard to get to this point in his career and are thankful to Roc Nation Sports for believing in Maurice Hooker’s talent.”
Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (21-0-2, 16 KOs) was born and raised in Oak Cliff, Texas, where he found a boxing home at Maple Avenue Boxing Gym by way of an outreach program for at-risk youths. His natural talent was soon noticed resulting in him competing as an amateur, during which time he participated in over 100 fights, compiling a record of 97 wins and only seven losses, with 67 victories coming by way of knockout. Hooker turned professional on April 29, 2011, taking on the vastly more experienced Tyrone Chatman at the Orpheum Theater in St. Louis. After four rounds, the judges saw the fight 40-36, 37-39 and 38-38, calling the fight a split draw. Undeterred, in his next fight on June 24, 2014, Hooker scored his first professional win, knocking out Wilbert Mitchell in the first round. Eleven wins (eight by knockout) later, he took on undefeated Abel Ramos on January 17, 2014 in a bout that was featured on ShoBox from the Cook Convention Center in Memphis. After eight close, hard-fought rounds, the judges saw the fight a draw. Four consecutive knockout victories would follow before he took on fellow undefeated prospect Eduardo Galindo on June 26, 2015 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas for the vacant NABO junior welterweight title. “Mighty Mo” did not disappoint his legion of hometown fans who saw him capture the title with a sixth round technical knockout victory. On October 17, 2015, Hooker successfully defended his title at Madison Square Garden in New York City against his toughest opponent to date in Ghislain Maduma. The 10-round decision win came on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux and was featured on the event’s “freeview” as well as streamed online around the world. “Mighty Mo” made his debut under the Roc Nation Sports banner on the undercard of Andre Ward vs. Sullivan Barrera, this past March at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, where he annihilated opponent Wilfrido “La Roca” Buelvas of Columbia in the first round of a 10-round junior welterweight bout by way of technical knockout. Hooker returned to Oracle Arena on August 6 as the co-feature on the Ward-Brand undercard, defeating Tyrone Barnett of Washington, D.C., to remain the NABO Junior Welterweight Champion. Hooker is ready to step up to the challenge on November 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas when he faces former WBA World Lightweight Champion Darleys Perez.