Hooker defeats Jackson, still unbeaten

By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside

Photo: Stacey Verbeek

“Mighty Mo” Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KOs) retained his WBO NABO Jr Welterweight Title with a hard fought unanimous decision against the tough as nails Courtney Jackson (17-1, 10 KOs). Hooker dominated the fight with a solid jab and power shots to the head and body throughout that nearly closed the eyes of Jackson but somehow Jackson stayed on his feet and came up with a big 10th and final round to make things interesting. Jackson landed a shot to the jaw of Hooker and several others that put a scare in the pro-Hooker crowd but Hooker showed his championship mettle and finished the fight with big flurries of his own and won going away.

The final scores read 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Hooker who kept his title with the win.

Hooker came out from the opening bell looking to establish his long jab and found early success on the shorter Jackson. Jackson realized early he had to get physical with the lanky Hooker and by the 2nd round he got inside and landed a few combinations that also resulted in a low blow warning by referee Laurence Cole.

Hooker stayed on the outside during the middle rounds and connected with both body and head shots as Jackson continued to come forward. In the fifth round, Hooker landed a double left hook and had Jackson against the ropes, but somehow Jackson stayed right in front of him as his eyes began to swell. Hooker landed a powerful left hook to the head in the 6th round that staggered Jackson and ended the round with a flurry, but again Jackson stayed on his feet and had no quit in him.

It appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Hooker was going to get another win under his belt as he continued to dominate the 7th – 9th rounds and Jackson had no fight in him or so it appeared. But in boxing, everything can change with one punch and in the 10th round, Jackson somehow found a burst of energy and landed a big left hook to the chin of Hooker that also energized the black-tie guests that were in attendance for The Links Incorporated fundraiser benefitting Mid-Cities, TX chapter. Jackson had Hooker hurt and in trouble and clearly needed a knockout to win. Jackson let his hands go as Hooker did all he could to cover up and just make it to the final bell. But instead of just lasting, Hooker quickly turned the table and put Jackson back on his heels and cruised to victory.

Hooker is promoted by Roc Nation and managed by Arnie Verbeek, owner of Maple Ave Boxing Gym in Dallas and runs Undercard Promotions. It will be interesting to see where Hooker goes from here as he has held the WBO NABO title for over 2 years and on the same night Terence Crawford unified the 140lb class with a big win against Julius Indongo on ESPN.

Also, in attendance was world-class trainer Derrick James, who trains both IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo. James fought on the very first card for The Links Incorporated 25 years ago and several others thereafter as he was recognized in the ring before the fights.

Ernesto Delgadillo vs Waldemar Pagan
In an all-out scrap in the co-main event, flyweights Ernesto Delgadillo (8-0-2, 2 KOs) and Waldemar Pagan (8-1-2, 7 KOs) went toe to toe over six rounds. Degadillo, a stocky southpaw, landed some big uppercuts early on while Waldemar countered with big shots to the body. Waldemar found a home for his left hook by the 4th round and the fight was a seesaw battle from there on out. The judges felt the same way as the scores read 58-56 for Delgadillo and 57-57 twice declaring a majority draw.

Carlos Adame, Jr. vs. Manuel Rubalcava
Super featherweight Carlos Adame Jr. (7-1, 2 KOs) beat free swinging Manuel Rubalcava (3-23) over four rounds. The southpaw Adame out boxed Rubalcava when he stayed on the outside, but when he decided to stay in the pocket with Rubalcava he got caught with some big, dangerous shots. In the end, the judges thought Adame showed more skill and gave him the unanimous decision. The scores read 39-37 twice, 40-36, however it was much closer than that.

Trevion Marshall vs. David Fabela
In the opening fight at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas in support of The Links Incorporated benefiting the Mid-Cities (TX) chapter for community service, lightweight David Fabela wasted little time against Trevion Marshall as he landed a right to the body and left hook to the head that put Marshall on his backside. Marshall sat there as Referee Robert Chapa counted Marshall out as he made no attempt to get up. The time of the KO was 58 seconds of the 1st round.

Undisputed: Crawford wrecks Indongo in three
Results from US Virgin Islands

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