Hooker: "My Team Is Perfect For Me"
Maurice Hooker has credited his tight-knit team for getting
him to the edge of greatness as he prepares to face Jose
Ramirez in a World Super-Lightweight unification battle on
Saturday night at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas,
live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Hooker (26-0-3 17 KOs) penned a deal with Matchroom Boxing
USA and DAZN alongside his long time promoters Roc Nation
Sports last July as he entered a new phase of his career as
WBO ruler having travelled to Manchester to take the title
from Terry Flanagan in June 2018. The 29 year old saw off
the challenges of Alex Saucedo and Mikkel LesPierre on the
road before landing the unification clash with Ramirez (24-0
16 KOs) on home turf.
The Dallas ace attributes his path to the point of
unification to the men that have guided his career from the
start in trainer Vince Parra and his assistant manager Arnie
Verbeek and promoter Dino Duva, and hopes to repay their
faith and support with a big night of celebration after
Saturday’s pick-em clash.
“I just like to smile and be happy in boxing and my life,”
said Hooker. “I don't like big crowds even outside of
boxing, I just hang with a few people. I don't like too much
attention and you get people arguing around you and you have
to worry about everybody. I keep close to the people I trust
because I know that they have got my back. All you need is a
few great people and you will be ok.
“Vince and I grew up with each other, learned the sport
together and did everything as a partnership, the trust is
there with us and I know that whatever he tells me to do in
the gym or in the corner between rounds is the right advice
to get the win.
“We've done it all from day one, gone on the road and stayed
in dirty hotels to get great sparring with Terence Crawford,
Miguel Cotto and more, but now we're in the best hotels as
World champion! We've done it all and been through a lot.
It's good to have someone in your corner that you trust as
much as I do with Vince.
“There's a lot of fighters in and around San Diego, we're
down the street from Mexico so we can get fighters in with
that Mexican style. We drive to LA, Big Bear and Las Vegas
and get great work as we’re right in the middle of that.”
Hooker and Ramirez clash on a bumper night of action in
Arlington, as Tevin Farmer defends his IBF World
Super-Featherweight title against mandatory challenger
Guillaume Frenois. Tramaine Williams takes on Yenifel
Vicente for the vacant USBA Super-Bantamweight title and a
trio of unbeaten talents look to continue their 100 per cent
KO records in Nikita Ababiy, Artur Biyarslanov and Houston’s
Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams.
Heavyweight Joey Dawejko meets Rodney Hernandez over ten
rounds and there's action for three Dallas fighters in
Stephen Acosta, Javier Martinez and debutant Darius Bagley.