Terry Flanagan-Maurice Hooker junior welterweight world title bout rescheduled for June 9

Boxing


The vacant junior welterweight world title fight between Terry Flanagan and Maurice Hooker was rescheduled on Friday.

They will meet in the co-feature of the return of former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs), who faces an opponent to be determined on June 9 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England — hometown of Fury and Flanagan — promoter Frank Warren announced.

Flanagan and Hooker will fight for one of the 140-pound world titles left vacant when undisputed world champion Terence Crawford relinquished all four of the major belts in the division last summer, in order to move up in weight.

Flanagan (33-0, 13 KOs), 28, of England, and Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KOs), 28, of Dallas, were originally supposed to fight on April 14 at the O2 Arena in London on the undercard of middleweight world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders’ defense against Martin Murray. But when Saunders suffered a hand injury, the card was postponed.

Saunders-Murray was rescheduled for June 23.

Flanagan is a former lightweight world titleholder. After five title defenses, he vacated his 135-pound belt in order to move up to 140 pounds and go after another title.

“Winning this fight will prove that I’m a legitimate 140-pound fighter,” Flanagan said. “I’ll be looking to unify all of the belts later in the year. I’m looking for the likes of [titleholder] Mikey Garcia after I win the WBO belt on June 9. It’s a massive unification fight, and I hope those are the fights Frank can make. I’m not looking past Hooker, but I’m very confident I’ll be able to deal with anything he throws at me to become a two-weight world champion.”

Hooker has been training with Crawford and has won two fights in a row since a dubious draw against former world titleholder Darleys Perez in November 2016 in a fight virtually everybody saw Perez winning handily.

“I’m gonna wake him up,” Hooker said of Flanagan. “He’s weak and he’s soft. He hasn’t fought anybody. He fights little guys. I hit hard with both hands. He’s never fought anyone with skills like me. He runs a lot. He does that real good. Power? He hasn’t got any power. He pitty pats.”

Hooker said he views Flanagan as a dirty fighter as well.

“I’ve been watching his fights,” Hooker said. “He holds a lot. He uses his forearm to the head. He does a lot of stuff dirty. I’m going to stop him, and I’m going to show him who’s the best at 140. It could be the first round, second round or third round, but he’s going down.”



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