Jose Ramirez TKOs Maurice Hooker to unify WBC, WBO super lightweight titles

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/300168/" data-ylk="slk:Jose Ramirez">Jose Ramirez</a> (L) and Maurice Hooker during their WBO &amp; WBC Junior Welterweight World Championship fight at College Park Center on Saturday in Arlington, Texas. (Getty Images)
Jose Ramirez (L) and Maurice Hooker during their WBO & WBC Junior Welterweight World Championship fight at College Park Center on Saturday in Arlington, Texas. (Getty Images)


Jose Ramirez came into Arlington, Texas, and ruined Maurice Hooker’s homecoming.

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In what will surely be a candidate for fight of the year, after a bout filled with back-and-forth action, Ramirez ended Hooker in the sixth round. He walked away as the unified super lightweight champion of the WBO and WBC and with his undefeated record intact.

The entire fight was a contrast of styles. Whoever imposed their style, largely through distance, controlled the fight. When Hooker used his long jab and fought in the middle of the ring, he looked calm while Ramirez bounced on his feet, as if biding his time to attack. When Ramirez attacked and forced his way into Hooker’s body, he pushed him back into the ropes and negated his opponent’s natural advantages. There, against the ropes and smothered, Hooker looked helpless.

Throughout each round, just as it appeared either Hooker or Ramirez were beginning to gain control of the fight and establish their style, the other would answer. After the second round, Vince Parra, Hooker’s trainer, implored his fighter to remain calm.

“Back to the jab,” he told him.

At the end of the third round, it was Robert Garcia, Ramirez’s trainer who told his fighter to not relent. “Don’t respect him,” Garcia screamed.

After several rounds that were difficult to score, the ending came suddenly. In the sixth round, Ramirez — not long after he looked momentarily stunned by one of Hooker’s shots — connected with a left hook that forced Hooker to stumble back into the ropes. Not giving Hooker any time to recover, Ramirez pounced. About nine unanswered punches from Ramirez snapped back Hooker’s head. It was sudden. And Hooker appeared to be held up only by the ropes at his back and Ramirez’s punches not allowing him to fall forward.

When the referee stepped in to hug Hooker against the ropes and wave off the fight, Ramirez celebrated by climbing his red corner. Ramirez’s cornermen hugged at his feet while, not even 10 feet away, Hooker struggled to keep his feet.

At the time of the stoppage, Ramirez was leading on two judges’ scorecards while the other saw it even.

Hooker was left holding back tears and bleeding from his mouth and nose, defeated in front of friends and family as Ramirez celebrated.

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