Hooker: LesPierre is going down

WBO super lightweight champion Maurice Hooker (25-0-3, 17 KOs) says he’ll bring the heat early and send a big statement to the rest of the division when he defends his world title against Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1, 10 KOs) on Saturday at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

Hookerverbeek
Photo: Stacey Verbeek

“What do I know about Mikkel? He’s going down on March 9, that’s all I know,” said Hooker. “He’ll be a little nervous and jittery. I’ll pop him with a hard jab early to see where his mind is. I’ll be looking in his eyes when I hit him to see how he reacts like, ‘god damn!’ or ‘OK, bring it’ – that will tell me what he’s going to be like the whole fight, if he’s there to win and be great, or just there to collect the check.

“He doesn’t have power but I still have to be wary as he could close his eyes and swing, hit me with the backhand – it’s boxing. But if I see a weakness in him, I’m not going to hesitate – I want to KO him hard and fast, I don’t get paid overtime. I will show real power in both hands, and show I can put any southpaw in the world to sleep.

“I don’t feel any extra pressure as a defending champion – I am getting paid to do my job. As long as I train hard and stay focused, there’s no-one out there that can beat me and I will prepare hard for anyone put in front of me.

“He’s a short southpaw that’s going to sit outside the box, and he’s going to be in the danger zone. I wish him the best in the build-up, I am sure that he’s trained hard as this is the biggest fight of his life – fighting for a World title at home – but that’s just like Saucedo, he’s going to come, not as aggressive as Saucedo, but he’ll still come.

“After the first round though, he’ll die down as he’ll be thinking ‘man this guy is long, rangy, I can’t get to him – AND he hits hard’. He’ll shell up. But I’ll be explosive. Fighters say they don’t look for the KO – I am looking for a big KO on March 9, I want it bad and I will KO him.”

Hooker’s clash with LesPierre is part of a huge night of action at Turning Stone Resort Casino with a second world title fight on the bill in the shape of Dmitry Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs) defending his WBA light heavyweight title against Joe Smith Jr (24-2-0 20KOs).

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