"MIGHTY MO" STOPS SAUCEDO IN SEVENTH ROUND AND SHOCKS OKLAHOMA CITY
Before the fight, both fighters appeared extremely calm just one day before the showdown in Oklahoma for the WBO Junior Welterweight title. But as the bell sounded for the first round in front of a packed house at the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City it was the complete opposite of calm.
Alex Saucedo (28-1, 18 KO's) came out pressing the fight in the same style he did against his last opponent, Leonardo Zappavigna (37-4, 27 KO's), and it was working. And in the second round when he backed up Maurice "Mighty Mo" Hooker (25-0, 17 KO's), the WBO Junior Welterweight champion from Dallas, Texas, he caught Hooker with a big right hand and he went down.
This flash knockdown as it turned out to be, was the beginning of what champions are truly made of. Hooker was able to compose himself and box his way out of trouble to survive the round for what turned out to be a possible fight of the year.
Hooker then began to outbox the slugger Saucedo in the third round and regain what was lost in the second round. He used his long quick jab to follow up with a multitude of right hands, some short ones, and lots of chopping ones until he was able to land huge ones with his full arm extended.
In the fourth round Hooker landed a huge left hook that rocked Saucedo back on his heels, but the tough Saucedo kept coming back for more. He then landed a big right hand and then another one as he moved around the ring. Hooker followed that up with his jab and began doubling up on his punches as Saucedo continued to move forward. The Dallas champion then landed three consecutive punches to end the round. He was now in a groove.
In the fifth round after Hooker landed two left hooks, he was cornered into the ropes and looked to be in his version of the rope-a-dope as he let Saucedo punch at will, although the majority of punches were blocked. Then at the end of the round, he launched a barrage of punches against Saucedo, and his punches made perfect contact. As soon as Saucedo sat in his corner it was obvious his trainer Abel Sanchez was not happy with what had just happened and it could be seen with the gestures he made at him.
The sixth round started with Hooker missing several punches with bad intentions on them but missing the mark. Because of the punches being landed by Hooker, it appeared that Saucedo was beginning to slow down. Mo then followed up and landed two good right hands, but Saucedo landed a good right hand of his own. As they dueled in the middle of the ring it was clear that the boxer Hooker was getting the best of the brawler Saucedo and he landed two more good right hands that rocked the Oklahoman. With blood streaming down the face of Saucedo, Hooker landed another straight right hand at the sound of the bell.
At the beginning of the seventh round, Hooker, the Dallas champion started off with a good body punch to the fading Saucedo. Hooker then began landing hard and heavier punches but Saucedo held his ground and took the barrage and continued to move forward.
After a short jab and right hand that landed to the head of Saucedo, Hooker threw another short left jab and followed it up with a rocket right hand that buckled the knees of Saucedo as he fell back into the ropes. The ropes temporarily save him from going down as the referee stepped in to give him a standing count. As the fight continued, Hooker went after Saucedo and landed punch after punch with both hands as he backed up Saucedo into the ropes without punches being returned and the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
This was the the most exciting fight of all so far from the Texas champion from his hometown of Dallas, Texas. It was also his first defense of his new WBO Junior Welterweight title and what a defense it was.
"Alex is a great fighter. He came to fight, and I came to fight, and I went right at him,” Hooker said. "I knew the first couple of rounds would be tough, but eventually it would be my time to take over."
Hooker came back from the flash knockdown in the second round and he beat Saucedo in his own backyard just as he predicted before the fight.