Hooker: "Fighting In Dallas Would Mean So Much"
Maurice Hooker hopes to land a big homecoming fight in
Dallas next as he defends his WBO World Super-Lightweight
title for the second time against Mikkel LesPierre at the
Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on Saturday
March 9, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Hooker (25-0-3 17 KOs) won his title on the road by ripping
it from champion Terry Flanagan in Manchester, England in
June and then packed his bags again for his first defense, a
thrilling win over local favorite Alex Saucedo in Oklahoma
City in November, Hooker climbing off the canvas in the
second round to stop Saucedo in the seventh.
Hooker hits the road again to put his belt on the line
against Brooklyn’s LesPierre (21-0-1 10KOs) but ‘Mighty Mo’,
who has predicted a devastating KO win over the challenger,
wants to come home in his next fight – and believes he can
do so in a major fight that will stake his claim to being
the best in the world at 140lbs.
“It would mean so much to me to fight in Dallas as a
champion,” said Hooker. “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.
“I wasn't a disciplined kid so boxing taught me a lot. 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.
“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
“It's an open division, 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.
“Dallas 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
Hooker’s clash with LesPierre is part of a huge night of
action at Turning Stone Resort Casino with a second
mouthwatering World title fight on the bill in the shape of
Dmitry Bivol (15-0 11KOs) defending his WBA World
Light-Heavyweight title against Long Island’s Joe Smith Jr
Callum Johnson (17-1-0 12KOs) and Sean Monaghan (29-2-0
17KOs) will both have a keen eye on Bivol’s clash as they
battle in a crunch fight in the 175lbs division,
World-ranked heavyweight contender Sergey Kuzmin, (14-0 11
KOs), of St. Petersburg, Russia will battle Philadelphia
based veteran Joey Dawejko, (19-6-4 11 KOs) and Otha Jones
III makes his pro debut on the card.