“ON THE RIGHT PATH”
MIGHTY MO TO SOAR THIS SATURDAY
BY BILL GREEN
Undefeated and Dallas Texan Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker 20-0-2 (15) returns to the ring this Saturday night on the HBO World Championship Boxing card featuring P4P champion Andre “S.O.G. Ward 29-0 (15) vs top 10 rated Colombian Alexander Brand at the Oracle Arena located in Oakland, California.
The highly stacked card will be promoted by Roc Nation Sports aka Jay Z's company. Hooker will square off with the very durable and upset minded Ty Barnett 23-4-1 (15) of Washington, DC. Hooker signed by Roc Nation back in 2015, will be defending his WBO/NABO Super Lightweight Title.
Hooker was an under the radar top notch amateur talent that amassed well over 80 wins including becoming the Dallas Regional Golden Glove Champion.
The 2 blemishes on his pro record have quite the story behind them. The first was back in 2011 when he made his pro debut, no manager, just a young eager and hungry boxer waiting to take on all comers. He received a phone call and took literally the first fight that came his way. His opponent that night was Tyrone Chatman with a 7-1 record and was the hometown favorite.
Hooker would earn a draw which anyone that knows this business understands a draw with one being the “B” side in someone else’s hometown clearly means you handled yourself very well that night. When asked about that fight Hooker stated “I just wanted to fight so bad, to turn pro and prove that I belong. I figured just like the amateurs, I needed to take on all comers.” Hooker would do just that by reeling off 12 straight victories.
The other mentioned blemish is really not a blemish after all…it has been a blessing. On a Showtime televised undercard he was matched with fellow undefeated prospect Abel Ramos 8-0 (4) of Phoenix, Arizona. Again the score cards seemed to award the popular fighter and he would settle for yet another draw. The draw was very questionable by those ringside and Hooker would state “Yes, I believe I won the fight. The crowd cheered for him before the bout but by the end of it they were cheering for me, they even booed the decision. However, I could have done better, it was my first time on television and I didn’t pace myself for the entire 8 rds. It was definitely a learning experience."
Over the next few months Hooker and his manager, Arnie Verbeek, began negotiating with Roc Nation. An opportunity came for Hooker to face Canadian power puncher Ghislain Maduma 17-1 (11), whom was a former 5 x Quebec champion as well as a 2003 Canada Games Gold medalist.
Just like his buddy, Terence ‘Bud” Crawford, aka the Pride of Omaha, nobody on his promotional or management team wanted him to take the fight. Just like Terence, he said “Let me prove it to you, I can and will beat him, you gonna have to trust me.”
Hooker would drop Maduma in the 4th rd and win a SD in a fight that put him on the map. Maduma was well respected among the fight critics and the combination of the fight taking place at MSG in New York on the GGG vs Lemieux PPV helped tremendously.
In his last performance, Hooker made easy work over Wilfrido Buelvas 17-5 (11) of Colombia on yet another high profile HBO WCB Andre Ward vs Sullivan Barrera card back in March.
Hooker would stop Buelvas in the 1st rd.
When June 2016 rolled around, Team Crawford was looking for tough sparring to prepare for Victor Postol. Crawford had previously sparred and worked with Hooker in Dallas when he prepared for Thomas Dulorme. Hooker stated “Man, Terence is so cool, I mean he is so down to earth. It’s like when you meet someone and they put you at ease, it felt like I’ve known him my whole life.”
So the camp was intense down in Colorado and Mighty Mo and Bud would put on a clinic night in and night out. After Crawford’s unanimous and dominant performance over Postol the champ would thank all that made it possible but one in particular, that being Maurice Mighty Mo Hooker.
Crawford would state “Man, I couldn’t have done it without my team, I mean what can I say about Maurice. Thank you for pushing me in camp every day, thank you for making me go that extra mile, that extra round. I will never forget you buddy. Take a look at him folks, cause he’s the next big thing.”
When this reporter asked Maurice about how that made him feel he stated “Oh boy, that was unexpected. He didn’t have to say or do that, especially on TV. He was dominant that night, there’s a reason he’s the champ. I learned so much in camp with him. I mean the advice, the teaching, the experience was unreal. The entire team treated me like family. He is so sharp; you always have to be ready cause if not he makes you pay. But afterwards he will tell you what you are doing wrong and makes you feel like you are on the right path”
So true champ, you definitely are on the right path and B & B Boxing along with Team Crawford will be cheering along the way.