This Saturday night in Oklahoma City, Maurice Hooker will be aiming to make a successful first defence of his WBO light-welterweight title against similarly undefeated Alex Saucedo.

‘Mighty Mo’ realised his dream of becoming world champion against former lightweight champion Terry Flanagan this June, at the Manchester Arena in front of thousands of boisterous Mancunians.

In the penultimate fight of a card highlighted by Tyson Fury’s comeback fight against Seferi, the Dallas native – incidentally, a significant underdog – frustrated ‘Turbo’ over twelve rounds, securing the vacant belt with a split-decision victory.

Hooker capitalised on his range and size in order to nullify southpaw Flanagan, who was simply unable to sustain any meaningful offensive work throughout the fight, inflicting the latter with his first career blemish in 33 fights.

Having effectively silenced a hostile crowd on away soil, Hooker is undoubtedly coming into this fight possessing the unbridled confidence of a champion coupled with a steely determination to retain his belt.

Despite some underwhelming performances en route to his world title win, including one against Darlys Perez in November 2016 where he was profoundly lucky to escape with a draw, Hooker is blessed with freakish dimensions for his division and that aspect alone makes him a difficult challenge to overcome.

Like many of his Texan counterparts, Hooker is supremely well-conditioned and capable of consistently shooting a steady left jab, without sacrificing sharpness, over the course of a twelve-round fight.

Saucedo, however, will have other ideas. Following his thrilling scrap with Lenny Zappavinga in June, the Mexican-American will be looking to disrupt Hooker’s composure with pressure and combinations in order to dethrone the champion, and potentially set up a unification with Jose Ramirez – the only other beltholder not participating in the World-Boxing Super-Series.

Article by: Navi Singh

Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________