Hooker to defend WBO junior welterweight title against Saucedo
Live ESPN and ESPN Deportes Telecast at midnight ET
Tickets on sale Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. CDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 27, 2018) – The “Red River Rivalry” is coming to Russell Westbrook’s house.
Dallas native Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker will make the first defense of his WBO junior welterweight world title on Friday, Nov. 16 against No. 1 contender and Oklahoma City product Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
Hooker-Saucedo will headline a special one-fight telecast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at midnight ET/9 p.m. PST. The soon-to-be announced undercard will stream live at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Roc Nation Sports and Matchroom Boxing USA, tickets for this world championship event will go on sale Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. CDT. Priced at $250, $150, $75, $50, and $35, tickets may be purchased at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
“On Nov. 16, I’m turning his dream into a nightmare,” Hooker said. “He will find out why I am world champion. I don’t care where I fight. The ring is my home. I’m gonna punch him in the mouth, Mexican style!”
“On behalf of Roc Nation Sports and Matchroom Boxing, our co-promoter with Maurice, I am over-the- top excited about this great matchup between Maurice Hooker and Alex Saucedo,” said Roc Nation Sports Promoter Dino Duva. “It has fight of the year written all over it. It’s a top-notch cross-state rivalry and is a very personal grudge match. Saucedo is a very tough kid, but I’m very confident in Maurice. He’s getting better and better with every fight, so I can’t wait to watch ‘Mighty Mo’ bring home the victory again. He will continue his journey to superstardom and prove he’s the best 140-pounder in the world.”
“I am very excited for this huge opportunity at home,” Saucedo said. “It doesn’t get better than fighting for the title in front of the home crowd. It’s a blessing. There’s a big rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma, so I know the Chesapeake Energy Arena is going to be packed. I want that title around my waist and to represent Oklahoma City with pride. Only one world champion has come from my city. I am going to be the second.”
“Alex Saucedo is a tremendous, world-class fighter,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. “Maurice Hooker is a worthy champion, but Alex will have the home crowd on his side in what promises to be an incredible atmosphere. Oklahoma City loves Alex, and the arena is going to be packed to the rafters to watch him make history. This fight, which will be held the night before the Oklahoma Sooners face Kansas at home, will attract thousands to the Chesapeake Energy Arena.”
Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KOs), a seven-year pro, compiled a 97-7 amateur record. Following a draw in his professional debut, he won 12 consecutive bouts before fighting to a hard-fought, eight-round draw against Abel Ramos in a nationally televised bout. Hooker has won three consecutive bouts since his third draw, a 10-rounder versus Darleys Perez on the undercard of the first bout between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. In his last bout, on June 9, he punched his passport for the second time as a pro and traveled to Manchester, England, to face hometown hero Terry Flanagan for the vacant WBO junior welterweight title. Hooker controlled the distance and was effective as the counter puncher, earning the split decision in hostile territory.
Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs) moved from Mexico to Oklahoma City when he was 7 years old and grew up only a few miles from Chesapeake Energy Arena. A decorated amateur, he signed a professional contract with Top Rank at 17 years old and turned pro on Nov. 19, 2011 with a first-round TKO against Cedric Sheppard. An Oklahoma kid with Hollywood connections, Saucedo is managed by Churchill Management Group, which counts Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg among its investors. It was on June 30 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena that Saucedo earned a shot at Hooker’s title. On that night, he fought the tough Australian Lenny Zappavigna, rebounding from nearly getting stopped in the fourth round to knock out Zappavigna in the seventh round in one of the year’s best fights. If he beats Hooker, he will become only the second Oklahoma City product to win a world title. Sean O’Grady made Oklahoma City boxing history on April 12, 1981, scoring a unanimous decision against Hilmer Kenty in Atlantic City to win the WBA lightweight crown. Nearly four decades after the “Bubblegum Kid” tasted world championship glory, Saucedo wants to make a little OKC fistic history of his own.
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