Hooker: I Was Unprofessional; Didn’t Take Last Fight Seriously

Share the joy


By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Maurice Hooker stepped on and off the scale so many times March 8, he lost count.

The WBO junior welterweight champion eventually got down to his division’s 140-pound limit that day for his optional title defense versus Mikkel LesPierre.

“I wasn’t gonna lose my belt on the scale because I worked so hard to get it,” Hooker told BoxingScene.com. “I was willing to do anything. I was willing to pass out to make weight because I worked so hard.”

maurice-hooker (6)_6

Struggling so much to make weight for that bout taught Hooker an invaluable lesson, though. His weigh-in ordeal has served as a reminder of how to properly prepare throughout training camp for his upcoming title unification fight against Jose Ramirez.

“I should’ve took that fight more seriously,” Hooker said of his 12-round win over LesPierre. “He was good, but I knew he couldn’t beat me. He wasn’t on my level. So, I should’ve took that fight more seriously, with the weight, and been more professional. I learned from that fight. No matter who I fight, I’ve gotta be disciplined, hard on myself.”

The 29-year-old Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KOs) beat Brooklyn’s LesPierre (21-1-1, 10 KOs) by wide distances on all three scorecards (120-107, 119-108, 118-109). The Dallas native still wasn’t pleased with his performance nearly four months ago at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

“I watched the fight,” Hooker said. “I was too heavy. I was sluggish. I hurt him, but I couldn’t finish the job. I was worried that I might get tired. That was in the back of my head. I didn’t get tired, but I was afraid to step on the gas to get him out of there.”

Hooker addressed what he considers a sub-par performance with his team following that fight.

“That was my fault,” Hooker said. “I apologized to everybody for it. I’m a world champion, and I should’ve came in on weight, you know?”

Hooker expects a much more difficult fight from Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs), the WBC 140-pound champion, when they meet July 27. DAZN will stream their scheduled 12-rounder from College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, just outside of Hooker’s hometown.

“He’s a good fighter,” Hooker said. “He was on the Olympic team [in 2012]. He’s very disciplined. He’s got a good left hook to the body, good left hook to the head. He dropped Antonio Orozco with the left hook to the body. He comes straight forward. He’s a good fighter, so I know he’s coming and he can go 12 rounds, hard.”

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




Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *