Hooker: "I Want To KO Lespierre In Style"
Maurice Hooker says he’ll bring the heat early to Mikkel
LesPierre and send a big statement to the rest of the
division when he defends his WBO World Super-Lightweight
title for the second time 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) defended his title in thrilling
fashion in November, climbing off the canvas in the second
round against home town favorite Alex Saucedo to silence the
Oklahoma City crowd with a clinical seventh round stoppage.
The Dallas star now hits the road again to meet LesPierre
(21-0-1 10KOs) in upstate New York, with the unbeaten
Brooklyn man lacing them up in his first World title fight –
and Hooker plans to test the challenger’s ambitions from the
opening bell, and predicts a spectacular KO on the horizon.
“What do I know about Mikkel? He's going down on March 9,
that's all I know,” said Hooker. “He'll be a little nervous
and jittery. I'll pop him with a hard jab early to see where
his mind is. I'll be looking in his eyes when I hit him to
see how he reacts like, 'god damn!' or 'OK, bring it' - that
will tell me what he's going to be like the whole fight, if
he's there to win and be great, or just there to collect the
“He doesn't have power but I still have to be wary as he
could close his eyes and swing, hit me with the backhand -
it's boxing. But if I see a weakness in him, I'm not going
to hesitate - I want to KO him hard and fast, I don't get
paid overtime. I will show real power in both hands, and
show I can put any southpaw in the world to sleep.
“I don't feel any extra pressure as a defending champion - I
am getting paid to do my job. As long as I train hard and
stay focused, there's no-one out there that can beat me and
I will prepare hard for anyone put in front of me.
“He's a short southpaw that's going to sit outside the box,
and he's going to be in the danger-zone. I wish him the best
in the build-up, I am sure that he's trained hard as this is
the biggest fight of his life - fighting for a World title
at home - but that's just like Saucedo, he's going to come,
not as aggressive as Saucedo, but he'll still come.
“After the first round though, he'll die down as he'll be
thinking 'man this guy is long, rangy, I can't get to him -
AND he hits hard’. He'll shell up. But I'll be explosive.
Fighters say they don't look for the KO - I am looking for a
big KO on March 9, I want it bad and I will KO him.”
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.