Maurice Hooker: “I Feel I Am the Best”

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By: Sean Crose

WBO World Super Lightweight Champion Maurice Hooker (25-0) is looking forward to facing Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1) this Saturday, March 9th, at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona New York, on a card to be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. The Dallas, Texas native is also looking forward to eventually facing off against an opponent in his hometown. “It would mean so much to me to fight in Dallas as a champion,” Hooker says. “I want to show the kids in my neighborhood that don’t have anyone to look up to that they can look at me – I’m a champion that they can follow and look up to.”

March 6, 2019; New York, NY, USA; WBO super lightweight champion Maurice Hooker and challenger Mikkel LesPierre pose after the final press conference for their March 9, 2019 fight at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

“Dallas,” says Hooker, “is my home and in my heart, but there’s too many distractions to train there. In San Diego, I wake up thinking about boxing and go to bed thinking about boxing, and just train in between. The weather is great, I just love it.” As much as he loves the sport, Hooker claims boxing has done more than allow him to win titles and earn money.

“I wasn’t a disciplined kid so boxing taught me a lot,” he says. “My attitude was bad so boxing taught me to keep calm no matter what. When you look at what I’ve achieved, that’s the example I want to show the kids where I am from…my kids are my motivation – I want to give them the life that I didn’t have growing up, give them everything they want and be there for them.”

Although Brooklyn’s LesPierre hasn’t lost a fight, Hooker doesn’t see him as the most formidable foe he’s going to face. “I am my biggest opponent. Sometimes you can think ‘I’m a World champion, I don’t need to train.’ I know that can backfire on me in the gym so I am working harder than ever because I want to stay a champion and achieve more in the future.”

Hooker, who was last seen stopping Alex Saucedo in November of last year, is well aware that he’s in one of the hotter divisions in boxing. “It’s an open division,” he says of the super-lightweight realm, “and one I think I can take over. There’s a lot of good fighters in there making a name for themselves and a lot coming up…I’m a champion and I want to fight the best. I feel I am the best. My long arms, my chin, my skills and my hard work will put me on the top – I think that sets me apart.”





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