Jose Ramirez takes the WBO title from Maurice Hooker in six!
After one thrilling confrontation, Jose Carlos Ramirez (25-0, 17 KO’s) claimed a sixth round TKO win over Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (26-1-3, 17 KO’s).
With the win, in which Ramirez traveled to Hooker’s backyard of Arlington, Texas, the gritty Californian walked away the unified WBO and WBC super lightweight champion.
The win also marked the first defeat of Hookers professional career.
Right out the gate the match was neck to neck and aggressive. Hooker began behind his jab while moving on his back foot, whereas Ramirez opened up stalking and tossing big hooks.
The first period was razor thin until Ramirez landed a punch while standing on Mighty Mo’s foot, causing him to go down. Hooker vigorously protested the call. However, the knock down charge persisted.
The Dallas born bruiser was able control the beginning of the second round working behind a long power job. Mighty Mo was so accurate with the weapon that it seemed as if he would easily take the period.
That was until Ramirez bullied the hometown fighter to the ropes and pummeled his body. Curiously, Hooker did not make any real attempt to free himself from the disadvantageous position.
Hooker regains a commanding position in the third by once again operating behind his very formidable jab. Ramirez connected with several impactful blows, but nothing landed to warrant winning the round.
Due to flaring tempers, the two champions threw blows well after the end of the period. The flow of the third round bled into, and maintained, throughout the fourth round.
Mighty Mo continued to find great success in the fifth period. Then, for some inexplicable rationale, Hooker begins languishing on the ropes. The lapse in judgement provided Ramirez the chance to dip back down to the body, which he did with gusto.
In fact, Ramirez was well on his way to stealing the period. That was until Hooker opened up with a bevy of his own crunching power shots. On a few occasions, Ramirez had his head clearly snapped back.
Ironically, the sixth round began rather slowly, at least as compared to the previous five periods. As the two champions were probing for openings, Ramirez managed to clip Hooker with a nasty left hook that hurt him.
Hooker would fall back to the ropes, where Ramirez pounced on him and landed an additional four or five more clean blows.
With his back pent to the ropes and head snapping back and rolling loosely around on his shoulders, referee Mark Nelson jumped in to prevent any further damage. The stoppage was the right call.
Given the highly competitive nature of the bout, there is no shame in defeat for Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker.
It will be interesting to see how he bounces back.
Meanwhile, we will be waiting to see if Ramirez will be geared up to face the winner of Josh Taylor vs Regis Prograis to name the next undisputed champion!
By: Bakari Simpson