Feature | Jun 26 2018

EXCLUSIVE Maurice Hooker: ‘I salute the judges’

Not all visitors have a problem with the officiating in the UK, as Maurice Hooker proves as he talks to Kenneth Bouhairie
Maurice Hooker vs Jose Ramirez
Maurice Hooker won his world title against Terry Flanagan Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

FIGHTING for a world title in your opponent’s country isn’t ideal — unless you’re from Texas and the opponent is from England, which is what Errol Spence Jnr did last year, stopping Kell Brook in Brook’s native Sheffield. This June, fellow Texan Maurice Hooker followed suit, travelling to Manchester and defeating local Terry Flanagan by split decision.

Hooker, 28, is used to adversity, owing to his upbringing in Oak Cliff, Texas. “Fighting Flanagan in England was like fighting in my old neighborhood,” the newly-crowned WBO 140lbs champion told Boxing News. “Everyone stands around, watching and being loud as hell. At the end of the day, it’s you and the other guy knuckling up.

“At the weigh-in, I was headed to the restroom and this guy was screaming at me. I can’t even repeat what he said. I said, ‘Come to the restroom with me so we could talk about it like men.’ But he didn’t. I would’ve gone 2-0 that week [laughs].”

 

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