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Maurice Hooker Silences Alex Saucedo Fans with KO Victory in OKC

Photos: Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing

Once upon a time, two wide-eyed prospects in Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker and Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo met at a young age and found each other face to face in heated sparring sessions.

Both fighters were infants in the boxing game and still developing into their grown man bodies. Tonight, the pair met again as two of the top fighters of the Super Lightweight division, with Hooker as the defending WBO champion.

Although Hooker came into this fight as the champion, the fight took place at The Chesapeake Energy Arena in Saucedo’s backyard of Oklahoma City. This was no issue for the road warrior in Hooker, who in his last fight, traveled to the UK to capture the WBO title from then undefeated champion, Terry Flannigan.

4,102 fans cheered as their hometown fighter made his way to the ring to the sounds of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” and then followed those cheers with thunderous boos for the Dallas native. Once in the ring, the tension grew and everyone was ready for a show. The opening round was fast paced and neither fighter let off the gas.

The fight took a quick turn in Saucedo’s favor early in the second round. An overhand right landed on Hooker and he tasted the canvas.

The cheers rumbled from rafter to rafter as many thought that Hooker may not recover, but to the dismay of the OKC fans, he did.

Hooker rallied in the following round despite blood trickling down from his nose after the knockdown. Hooker used his length and timed Saucedo often and effectively with great jabs and straight rights that eventually caused a cut on Saucedo that impaired his vision.

Saucedo would find success when he bullied the champion onto the ropes and began to tee off. But despite the constant pressure, after the initial knockdown, Hooker boxed with great determination and dug down deep.

Saucedo seemed to show signs of fatigue in the middle rounds and in the seventh, a barrage of heavy punches by Hooker landed on Saucedo and he found himself in trouble. Hooker would get the knockdown in the seventh and finished the show shortly after the referee allowed Saucedo to continue a few more seconds.

“I’m a true champion,” said Hooker after the fight. ” I stayed calm and relaxed. I gotta give credit to Alex nothing but respect.”

The pro-Saucedo crowd stared on as their fallen hero wiped his face free of the remains of blood and looked on as his rival rejoiced.

“I want to thank everybody,” said Saucedo as he addressed the hometown crowd. “I thought I was up, but the cut started getting in my way. I couldn’t see see our of my left eye so that’s what I started getting hit more.”

A fighter who was ringside and keeping a close eye on the winner was WBC Super Lightweight champion, Jose Ramirez (23-0, 16 KOs) who like Saucedo is promoted by Top Rank.

Ramirez would make his way into the ring to congratulate Hooker as the two look to unify in the future.

“Jose, you got my belt? You gotta come to DAZN for this one,” said Hooker who was joined by Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn who spearheads the promotion work for the DAZN streaming service.

It’s fair to say that Mighty Mo had his breakthrough performance against a dangerous fighter in Saucedo and yet again, proved doubters wrong in enemy territory.

With a performance like that, the Super Lightweight division became very interesting again.

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