Undefeated Records on the Line for Boxers Hooker and Saucedo

Undefeated Records on the Line for Boxers Maurice Hooker and Alex Saucedo

Undefeated boxers Maurice Hooker and Alex Saucedo will battle for the WBO junior welterweight title in Oklahoma City on Friday.

Updated: Nov. 15, 2018 • 1:30 PM ET

Oklahoma City will host a championship boxing match this weekend.

The WBO junior welterweight title will be on the line in Oklahoma City this Friday, as champion Maurice Hooker defends against rising young contender Alex Saucedo in a 12-round fight.

Hooker, riding a three-fight winning streak after scoring a draw against Darleys Perez two years ago, has yet to be defeated (24-0-3, 16 KOs). All three wins during the streak came by decision, with his last being a tight split-decision over Terry Flanagan in June to claim the title. Hooker has also experienced draws against Abel Ramos in 2014 and Tyrone Chatman in his first professional fight in 2011.

The 29-year-old Dallas native will have perhaps his biggest challenge against Saucedo, a rising phenom who will own the hometown advantage. Saucedo is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico but resides in Oklahoma City, yet the champion isn’t afraid of the big stage (fight can be seen on ESPN).

“I’m very excited to defend my world title on a national platform and show the world what I bring to the ring,” Hooker said via Roc Nation Sports. “I feel like this is my time – I’m hungry, I’ve been working hard and I’m ready to make Alex Saucedo my next victim.”

Fighting in an opponent’s hometown isn’t new to Hooker, as he had to travel to Manchester, England to defeat Flanagan in front of his hometown crowd to claim the belt. His supporters won’t have far to travel from Dallas to Oklahoma City, so he should have a fair amount of buzz at the fight as well.

Hooker has defeated key fighters such as Flanagan, Courtney Jackson, Cristobal Cruz, Ty Barnett, Ghislain Maduma and Eduardo Galindo.

The 24-year-old Saucedo will bring an undefeated record (28-0, 18 KOs) to Oklahoma City, as he looks to win his first major title. He has finished his last three fights, the most recent being a Fight of the Year candidate against Leonardo Zappavigna in June. Saucedo defeated Zappavigna by seventh round TKO after being hurt early in a brutal back-and-forth fight. That bout also took place in front of his hometown crowd in Oklahoma City.

Saucedo is an aggressive boxer who likes to apply pressure, but he’ll face his toughest challenge to date on Friday. Hooker represents an athletic style that Saucedo has yet to see, but the latter has notable victories over Zappavigna, Abner Lopez and Gustavo David Vittori. The winner of the fight between Hooker and Saucedo is expected to face Jose Carlos Ramirez in a unification bout in early 2019.

 

 

 


Co-main event

Friday’s co-main event will be a 12-round WBO welterweight eliminator between Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Roberto Arriaza.

Kavaliauskas is 20-0 with 16 knockouts, most recently defeating Juan Carlos Abreu by unanimous decision in July. The decision ended a four-fight knockout streak for the 30-year-old from Kaunas, Lithuania, picking up key victories against David Avanesyan, Mahonry Montes, Daniel Echeverria and Ramses Agaton.

Arriaza is 17-0 with 13 knockouts, most recently defeating Juan Ruiz by unanimous decision in May. The 28-year-old Nicaraguan also has wins against Sammy Valentin, Francisco Cordero, Jose Agustin Feria and Benjamin Whitaker.

 

• All fights can be seen on ESPN this Friday at midnight, or at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

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