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Maurice Hooker vs. Josesito Lopez possible for Spence vs. Garcia card on Nov.21

Danny Garcia Errol Spence Jr Josesito Lopez

By Dan Ambrose: Maurice Hooker and Josesito Lopez is a possibility for the undercard of Errol Spence Jr vs. Danny Garcia on November 21 on Fox Sports pay-per-view.

It will be an excellent welterweight addition to the card if it gets made, as former WBO 140-lb champion Hooker and the always tough Lopez (37-8, 20 KOs) could make it interesting for fans.

The lanky 5’11” Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KOs) was reportedly signed a multi-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions on Thursday, according to Mike Coppinger.

Hooker moving up to 147

Before that, Hooker, 31, had been with Matchroom Boxing, and the last time he fought was on July 27, 2019. He was stopped in the sixth round by WBC 140-lb champion Josesito Lopez in Arlington, Texas.

Hooker had recently been attempting to negotiate a fight with former WBA light-welterweight champion Regis Prograis. The two fighters were unable to agree on the match, unfortunately.

Hooker, who had outgrown the 140-pound division, wanted Prograis to come up to welterweight and fight him at a catchweight of 145 pounds, and that wasn’t going to work.

Danny Garcia Errol Spence Jr Josesito Lopez

The 5’8″ Prograis didn’t want to come up in weight, as he’s not a big guy. He had lost his last fight against a towering 5’10” light-welterweight in Josh Taylor in his previous bout in October of last year, and he didn’t want to deal with another guy that was a welterweight.

The 36-year-old Josesito Lopez came close to beating former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman last year in losing a 12 round majority decision on January 26, 2019, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Thurman knocked Lopez down in round two.

In the 7th, Lopez stunned Thurman with a huge shot that had him staggering. Lopez wasn’t able to finish the job, as Thurman came back strong and out-boxed him the rest of the way to win by the scores 117-109, 115-111, and 113-113.

Lopez gave Thurman a good fight, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Boxing News 24 had Thurman winning 115-111.

Can Maurice hang with fighters his size?

Hooker has been fighting at 140 since he turned pro in 2011, and it’ hard to believe that he was able to make weight all this time.

Danny Garcia Errol Spence Jr Josesito Lopez

The vast size advantage that Hooker had over his opposition allowed him to do well at light-welterweight, but he couldn’t sustain it forever. It was a miracle that Hooker lasted this long in making the 140-lb limit all this time.

Now that Hooker is moving up in weight to 147, his chances of success aren’t that good. What we saw of Hooker getting bludgeoned into submission by Jose Ramirez last year in July is likely indicative of what we’ll see from him at 147. Hooker does well against guys with decent talent, but he struggles when he faces pressure fighters with power. It’s always been that way; it’s probably not going to change now.

Hooker has three draws on his record that he arguably should have lost against these fighters:

  • Darleys Perez
  • Abel Ramos
  • Tyrone Chatman

Those were fights that Hooker lucked out when it came to the scoring, especially against Perez.

Two years ago, Hooker defeated Terry Flanagan by a 12 round split decision to capture the vacant WBO light welterweight title in June 2018. Hooker then defended his WBO title successfully twice, beating Alex Saucedo and Mikkel LesPierre before losing the belt against Jose Ramirez las year.

If it doesn’t work out for Hooker at 147, it won’t be surprising if he attempts to return to the 140-lb division to rejuvenate his career.

Lopez needs a win over Hooker

A victory for Lopez over Hooker would be a huge positive for his career, as it’s been a while since he won an important match.

Josesito Lopez has been a pro for 17 years, and he’s been involved in several fights against high-level fighters. Earlier in his career, Lopez lost a controversial 10 round split decision against Jessie Vargas in 2011.

In the following year, Josesito pulled off a massive upset in stopping former WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz by a 9th round stoppage. Ortiz quit on his stool after suffering a broken jaw.

Later that year, Lopez moved up to 154 and was stopped in five rounds by WBC junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in September 2012.

Marcos Maidana stopped Lopez in 2013 and Andre Berto in 2015. In Lope’s last fight, he defeated John Molina Jr by an eighth-round knockout last September.




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