Ramirez fight-worn outfit from Hooker bout garners $10,000 donation to benefit family of Dadashev

WBC/WBO super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez wanted to do something to benefit the family of Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev, who passed away July 23 due to injuries sustained in the ring.

After he defeated Maurice Hooker in a super lightweight unification bout July 27 in Arlington, Texas, Ramirez and his adviser, Rick Mirigian, offered his fight-worn gloves, shoes and trunks to the highest bidder. The board of The Big Fresno Fair, the largest annual event in California’s Central Valley, stepped up with a $10,000 bid.

One hundred percent of the proceeds were sent to the Dadashev family, and the items are currently on display alongside a life-size statue of Ramirez at the Fresno County Historical Museum.

“I’m honored and humbled to have been able to help out Maxim’s family,” Ramirez said. “Every fighter puts their life on the line in the ring. My prayers to his family.”

“These items are incredibly important to our museum, especially with the recent addition of the life-size statue honoring Jose,” said John C. Alkire, CEO, The Big Fresno Fair. “When we knew this was going to support a family during a time of loss, we were all in.”

“Maxim fought in Fresno once as a pro, and Jose and I just wanted to do something to show our support for his family,” Mirigian said.

“From the bottom of our hearts, and on behalf of Maxim’s family and our entire team, we would like to thank Jose, his team and The Big Fresno Fair for their generosity,” said Egis Klimas, Dadashev’s manager.

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Hooker on Ramirez fight: ‘I think I will come out of there with the late KO’

Maurice Hooker believes he will claim a late round stoppage win over Jose Ramirez when they clash for the WBO and WBC World Super-Lightweight titles 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) puts his WBO crown on the line for the third time in his first fight in his hometown as a World ruler after trips to Oklahoma and New York, and ‘Mighty Mo’ couldn’t have picked a bigger and more anticipated match-up to return to the spotlight in the Lone Star state.

Ramirez (24-0 16 KOs) puts his green and gold belt up for grabs for the third time since landing the vacant strap in March 2018 in New York, and in a reversal of Hooker’s route to this colossal clash, is back on the road after two home defenses in Fresno, California.

The respectful build-up continued at today’s press conference in downtown Dallas but both men were confident of walking out of the ring with a belt over each shoulder, and Hooker thinks their styles will lead to a late stoppage win.

“People are saying it’s going to be a tough fight and I hope it is,” said Hooker. “He’s going to come at me aggressive in the opening rounds with those big left hooks, but I’ll stay calm and relaxed because to me, in a championship fight, the fight really begins in the fourth or fifth round.

“I’ll use my jab in the opening rounds and compose myself and let him punch himself out and expose himself. As the fight goes on I will take it to him, push him back and I think I will come out of there with the late KO as he’s not a fighter that fights on the back foot, everyone he’s fought he’s come to them or they have been a smaller guy. I’m tall, rangy and I have power, so I will make him adjust to me and I will hurt him.

“He’s got a good left hand, to the head and the body, and I know that he’s coming to fight with pressure and he’ll be in my face the whole night, or at least try to be, and I’ve got to try to keep him off. But I’m ready, I’ll make him adjust to me and I’ll have fun in the later rounds.”

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 two Dallas fighters in Javier Martinez and debutant Darius Bagley.

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Maurice Hooker on fight with Ramirez: ‘This is the fight that makes me a big name’

Everything is bigger in Texas – and that’s just what Maurice Hooker plans to be as he prepares for his Super-Lightweight unification clash with Jose Ramirez on Saturday night at the 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) puts his WBO title on the line for the third time as he fights at home for the first time as a World ruler. The 29 year old last laced them up in the Lone Star state back in August 2017, where he claimed the WBO NABO title in downtown Dallas.

Hooker hit the road ten months later to rip the WBO World title from Terry Flanagan in the Manchester man’s home arena, and in November ‘Mighty Mo’ pulled off a stunning win in Oklahoma, climbing off the canvas in the second round to put unbeaten local favorite Alex Saucedo away in the seventh.

Hooker’s second defense took him to upstate New York where Brooklyn’s Mikkel Les Pierre was seen off in a comfortable points win – setting up the chance to come home in style and take home court advantage in the biggest fight of his career against WBC king Ramirez (24-0 16 KOs).

“I will be a champion in boxing and in Dallas as everyone will know my name after this fight. This fight means everything to me and the same for him, I just have to go harder than him and I will come out on top. This is part of my legacy – it’s just the beginning.

“This is the fight that makes me a big name. I am getting better with every fight and now I have the platform in the fight on DAZN to show my boxing skills, my power, my smarts, everything – everyone will know who Maurice Hooker is after this.

“I so excited to have this fight in Dallas, I’m ready to come with everything I have. The crazy thing about it is that I don’t feel any pressure coming into the fight, it’s just another big fight, all my fights over the last three have been really big, so I don’t feel any pressure from fighting at home. I’m just ready to do what i do and handle my business.

“I won my WBO NABO belt in Dallas but this fight is on a whole new level, I have the chance to unify at home. The first World title fight was in England and the others have been on the road too, but now I have the biggest fight of my life at home, so there’s a little pressure but not too much and I just have to focus on doing my job and getting the victory.

“It’s been crazy at home since the fight was announced. Everybody has been telling me that they are coming and telling me to put on a show. I’m confident I’ll get the win as is Jose, I’ve been watching him and it’s going to be tough in the opening rounds, but I will take over and make him adjust to me. Dallas seeing me fight as a World champion is so big for me and for the city, all the kids I’ve spoken to in the schools, the people that look up to me, can now watch me live.”

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 two unbeaten talents look to continue their 100 per cent KO records in Artur Biyarslanov and Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams.

Hooker on Ramirez fight: ‘This fight will define my career’

Maurice Hooker says the pressure of fighting at home in a career defining fight will bring the best out of him when he meets WBC World Super-Lightweight ruler Jose Ramirez in unification clash on Saturday July 27 at the 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) fights in his Dallas backyard for the first time as a World champion following three fights in enemy territory. Hooker puts his title on the line for the third time after ripping the WBO crown from Terry Flanagan in Manchester, England last June and travelled to Oklahoma City to get off the canvas and stop Alex Saucedo inside seven thrilling rounds in November. ‘Mighty Mo’ met Brooklyn’s Mikkel LesPierre in Verona, New York in March, flooring the unbeaten challenger in the ninth round of a dominant points win.

Ramirez (24-0 16 KOs) also puts his crown on the line for the third time having landed the vacant title at Madison Square Garden in New York in March 2018 against Amir Imam. The 26 year old’s first two defenses were on home soil in Fresno, putting Antonio Orozco on the deck twice in a points win in September and then a tight contest with Jose Zepeda in February where he held onto his title via majority decision.

“This fight will define my career,” said Hooker. “I will either be the star at 140-pound or I’ll have to start over again and try to build my name back up. I’m pumped up for this fight. I can fight at home and hopefully win some new fans at home as they can see me fight in person. The fight could have happened in New York or Las Vegas, it doesn’t matter, but I’m pumped for the first time that people can see me fight at home as a World champion.

“People have been hitting me up for tickets and getting excited about it, but I’m focused, I’m back in San Diego and working hard in camp. Everyone is going to be there and that’s more motivation for me. There’s pressure on me to win this fight for the fans as they have always given me great support, so I have to win it for them.”

A stacked undercard in support of the main event will see more World title action added to the card which already features the hotly anticipated debut of Murat Gassiev, who moves up from Cruiserweight and meets Philadelphia’s Joey Dawejko.

Houston-based rising talent Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (2-0 2 KOs) is in action for the third time in the paid ranks, and the impressive 23-year-old can make it three straight first round KOs in his home state.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

 

Hooker-Ramirez lightweight unification set for July 27

Maurice Hooker and Jose Ramirez will clash in a World Super-Lightweight unification clash on Saturday July 27 at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

WBO champion Hooker (26-0-3 17 KOs) fights in his home state for the first time as a World champion having won the title in stunning fashion in Oklahoma in November, getting off the canvas to KO Alex Saucedo in his backyard, the widely outpointing Mikkel LesPierre in his first defense in Verona, New York in March.

WBC ruler Ramirez (24-0 16 KOs) puts his belt on the line for the third time having landed the vacant strap in March 2018 against Amir Imam in New York. The 2012 Olympian handed a first defeat to Antonio Orozco in his first defense at home in September at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California, and then edged a majority decision against Jose Zepeda in February in the same venue.

“First of all I want to thank my promoters Matchroom Boxing and Roc Nation for getting me this opportunity,” said Hooker. “I’m proud to display my skills on DAZN – the best boxing platform out there. I’d also like to thank my team who are with me every step of the way. I want to show the world that I’m the best in the 140 lb. division. My dream is to become the undisputed champion in my weight class. This unification fight with Jose Ramirez is a major step towards that goal.

“Training camp for Team Mighty Mo Hooker is well underway and I’ll be at my absolute best on July 27 to take the green belt from Ramirez. It will be a thrill to do this in front of my home crowd and I’m looking forward to the energy they’ll bring to the ring. I am a dream killer, and Ramirez will be my next victim coming July 27.”

“I am ready for my opportunity to unify the titles,” said Ramirez. “To get the opportunity to be a unified champion is a blessing for me. I’m thankful to Bob Arum and Top Rank for believing in me to go out there and get the job done. I’m going to push myself hard to make the team proud.”

“This is a fight I wanted. I told my manager, Rick Mirigian, that I wanted to fight Maurice Hooker. I know this fight can take my career to the next level. I want to continue making statements at 140 pounds. I want to make it easier for people to decide who the best 140-pounder truly is.

“I’m treating this fight the same as when I won the title in New York City against Amir Imam. He was the taller fighter, the bigger fighter. It’s sometimes easier fighting someone in his backyard because it takes away some of my responsibilities behind the scenes. As the underdog, I have everything to win. It’s not just about defending my title but unifying the division as well. I’m ready to prove myself and show everyone what Jose Ramirez is all about. I can’t wait to bring Hooker’s title back with me to California.”

“I’m delighted to announce this excellent unification match-up between two great champions in Maurice Hooker and Jose Ramirez,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “These are the fights that boxing needs and the styles will gel into a real fight of the year contender. Both champions believe they have the edge in this fight, tune in July 27 on DAZN to find out comes out on top.”

“This looks like a terrific battle, and I’m predicting that our guy, Jose Ramirez, will emerge as the unified champion,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum.

“This is a big fight for Maurice and our team,” said Roc Nation’s Dino Duva. We have been looking forward to it since he became a champion – a title unification match in his hometown, doesn’t get any better for a fighter and his team. Mighty Mo will seize this opportunity to win over the hearts of the great Mexican boxing fans. A victory over a fantastic champion like Jose Ramirez will catapult Mighty Mo into superstar pound for pound status! Big thank you and congrats to DAZN and Matchroom Boxing for stepping up and putting this unification match together. Additional thanks to Top Rank, Ramirez promoter for making it work. This is what great boxing is about.”

Hooker: ‘It would mean so much to me to fight in Dallas as a champion’

Maurice Hooker hopes to land a big homecoming fight in Dallas next as he defends his WBO World Super-Lightweight title for the second time against Mikkel LesPierre 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.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW PRICED FROM $49 VIA TICKETMASTER.COM

Hooker (25-0-3 17 KOs) won his title on the road by ripping it from champion Terry Flanagan in Manchester, England in June and then packed his bags again for his first defense, a thrilling win over local favorite Alex Saucedo in Oklahoma City in November, Hooker climbing off the canvas in the second round to stop Saucedo in the seventh.

Hooker hits the road again to put his belt on the line against Brooklyn’s LesPierre (21-0-1 10KOs) but ‘Mighty Mo’, who has predicted a devastating KO win over the challenger, wants to come home in his next fight – and believes he can do so in a major fight that will stake his claim to being the best in the world at 140-pound.

“It would mean so much to me to fight in Dallas as a champion,” said Hooker. “I want to show the kids in my neighborhood that don’t have anyone to look up to that they can look at me – I’m a champion that they can follow and look up to.

“I wasn’t a disciplined kid so boxing taught me a lot. My attitude was bad so boxing taught me to keep calm no matter what. When you look at what I’ve achieved, that’s the example I want to show the kids where I am from.

“My kids are my motivation – I want to give them the life that I didn’t have growing up, give them everything they want and be there for them.

“I am my biggest opponent. Sometimes you can think ‘I’m a World champion, I don’t need to train.’ I know that can backfire on me in the gym so I am working harder than ever because i want to stay a champion and achieve more in the future.

“It’s an open division, and one I think I can take over. There’s a lot of good fighters in there making a name for themselves and a lot coming up.

“I’m a champion and I want to fight the best. I feel I am the best. My long arms, my chin, my skills and my hard work will put me on the top – I think that sets me apart.

“Dallas is my home and in my heart, but there’s too many distractions to train there. In San Diego, I wake up thinking about boxing and go to bed thinking about boxing, and just train in between. The weather is great, I just love it.”

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 (24-2-0 20KOs).

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.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Saucedo: ‘Winning a world title in front of my fans will mean the world to me’

Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo grew up in Oklahoma City, a short bike ride from the Chesapeake Energy Arena. It was called the Ford Center back then, but Saucedo always dreamed of headlining a world title fight in his hometown.

Saucedo will get that chance on Friday, Nov. 16 when he challenges WBO junior welterweight champion Maurice Hooker at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. This special one-fight Top Rank on ESPN broadcast begins at midnight ET.

The undercard, including the welterweight showdown between Egidijus “The Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas and Roberto Arriaza, 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 are on sale now. 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.

“Winning a world title in front of my fans will mean the world to me,” Saucedo said. “That’s something I have been dreaming of since I started boxing, and now that the opportunity is here, I’m going to train hard and become a champion.”

Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs) last fought June 30 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena against Lenny Zappavigna, a Fight of the Year contender that ended with a bloody Saucedo stopping an even bloodier Zappavigna in the seventh round. Saucedo-Zappavigna served as the co-feature to Gilbert “Zurdo” Ramirez’s super middleweight title defense against Alexis Angulo that evening. Now, Saucedo will top the bill in his beloved OKC.

“My last fight in Oklahoma City was a war. I believe I learned a lot in that fight,” Saucedo said. “{Trainer Abel Sanchez and I} went back to look at the tape. We learned that I need to use a lot more movements. We saw a lot of things that I need to work on, and we have done so. I have been training very hard. We will be ready for Nov. 16.”

Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KOs), from Dallas, Texas, is a newly minted world champion. On June 9, he punched his passport to Manchester, England, and upended the hometown hero, Terry Flanagan, via split decision to win the title. Hooker will look to defend his title for the first time in the fistic version of the “Red River Rivalry.”

“I believe Maurice Hooker is a smart and strong fighter,” Saucedo said. “I have to be smart in the ring. I have to go in there with everything that I know.”

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank