Maurice Hooker stays busy with an eye on Crawford-Indongo

By Ryan Songalia

Maurice Hooker is in an interesting position in the 140-pound division.

Ranked No. 2 by the WBO, he has a vested interest in the outcome of the Terence Crawford-Julius Indongo fight, happening on August 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Crawford, who holds the RING, WBO and WBC titles, will be unifying against the likewise unbeaten Indongo’s IBF and WBA belts. What happens after is contingent upon the result, but with Crawford being linked to a potential fight with WBO welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn should a Manny Pacquiao rematch not push through, there’s buzz that the titles could soon become vacant.

That’d put Hooker in position to be fighting for a vacant belt, should it play out that way.

But Hooker (22-0-3, 16 knockouts) isn’t looking that far ahead. He’s got his own fight to worry about that same night against Courtney Jackson (17-0, 10 KOs), whom he’ll face in a 10-rounder at the Omni Hotel in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, his trainer Vincent Parra tells RingTV.

“I have to go in there and put on a show and do my job and come out with a nice win,” says Hooker, who is promoted by RocNation and managed by Arnie Verbeek. There’s little to glean from Jackson’s record as the Floridian has built his record against mostly sub-.500 competition and has never fought in a fight scheduled for longer than eight rounds.

“I just know he’s a dead man come August 19,” said Hooker, when asked about what he knew of Jackson.

“He’s strong and confident and has nothing to lose,” Parra expounds. “That always makes a guy dangerous.”

The fight will be off-TV, but Hooker says he’s hoping to show that the fighter who stepped into the ring last November against Darley Perez, with whom he drew on the first Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev card, wasn’t what he was really about.

“I learned a lot from that fight. I had a busted ear drum but I still fought. I learned to be patient. It was really hard fighting with a busted ear drum,” said Hooker.

“Come fight night, everything was off. My balance, my equilibrium. When I got in the ring, the whole ring was moving, the ropes and everything. I couldn’t get my balance to land a good shot.”

Both Hooker and Parra like Crawford’s odds of pulling off the victory in the battle of the unbeatens for the undisputed title.

“I think Crawford will go out there and win. I just think he’s one of the top guys right now and it’s gonna be hard for Indongo to beat him,” said Hooker. But you can’t sleep on Indongo because he’s pulled out two upsets [against Eduard Troyanovsky and Ricky Burns].”

“You have to respect Indongo for the upsets he’s pulled, but Terence is on a different level. I see Crawford bye late stoppage,” says Parra.

Should the WBO title become vacant, Hooker could be in a position to fight Antonio Orozco (26-0, 17 KOs), who leap-frogged to the No. 1 spot in the latest WBO ratings, supplanting Filipino boxer Jason Pagara, who moved down to No. 3. Orozco, who is set to fight Roberto Ortiz on the Gennady Golovkin-Saul Alvarez card on September 16, is a fighter Hooker is very familiar with, having sparred together on numerous occasions in Orozco’s hometown of San Diego.

“We do the majority of our training camps in San Diego and have worked with Orozco a handful of times. It was always intense and competitive,” says Parra, adding that Hooker had also sparred Pagara at the Wild Card Gym.

Hooker has the same prediction for what would happen if he fought either Orozco or Pagara: “I would win by knockout.”

The post Maurice Hooker stays busy with an eye on Crawford-Indongo appeared first on The Ring.

Source:: The Ring – Boxing

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