Hooker Back in the Ring Saturday

By Robert Hughes
Photos: Stacey Verbeek

While Terrance Crawford is 650 miles north in Lincoln, Nebraska fighting for all the other super lightweight belts, Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker will be battling Courtney ‘CJ’ Jackson for the NABO Super-Lightweight [Jr. Welterweight] title on Saturday at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Crawford will be watched by millions on ESPN taking on Julius Indongo and raising lots of money for himself. Hooker [22-0-3, 16 KO] will make somewhat less and headline a non-televised black-tie fundraiser for a DFW-area chapter of The Links, Incorporated. 

Crawford is the top of the rail but ‘Mighty Mo’ is not 650 miles behind the world’s top 140-pounder. Until they meet, if ever, in the ring Mighty Mo is taking on an undefeated, untested fighter who was carefully picked for Hooker’s handlers, Arnie Verbeek and trainer Vincent Parra.

“There was a short list,” Verbeek said. “Roc Nation thought this was the best fight, they presented it to us and we could’ve vetoed whatever we’d like.”

A quick troll through Jackson’s perfect 17-0-0, 10 KO professional record exposes a textbook list of human tin cans. A [not-so random] tally of seven Jackson opponents shows a combined record of 1-98-0 and only three of the 10 others owning winning records. 

“It’s not going 10 rounds – it won’t make it past five,” Hooker predicts.

Nice! Sounds easy. So when will ‘Mighty Mo’ match up with Crawford at 140 pounds?

“We’re ranked No. 2 WBO so at some point they are going to have to put us in there,” Verbeek said, while emphasizing he is not focused on rankings nor titles, right now.

This will be Hooker’s fifth fight under the Roc Nation banner, an organization that undoubtedly would like to see him win some world titles.

Promoters have served Jackson well by arranging this title bout but he can’t have any delusions about walking out of the ring with that perfect record, or an NABO belt. The 29-year-old Homestead, Fla. resident is catching a tough, talented champion on the upswing of his career, a fighter with faster hands, supreme boxing skills and one has been pushed to the brink of defeat without submission.

Hooker is no tin can.

“He’s about to peak,” Parra said about Hooker’s career curve. “He just turned 28 so the next couple years are crucial – we’re preparing Mo to be the best Mo he can be.”

Style-wise this is not a good matchup of Jackson’s short hands against Hooker’s long arms. Jackson doesn’t look slow, he just doesn’t get his arms away from his body like he will need to against a taller, faster fighter. It’s hard to imagine Jackson hitting Hooker with anything that matters. If Mo keeps him away from the body it should be a quick main event.

“He’s tough, he’s inspired, he’s got a little bit of history behind him and built himself a nice little record,” Parra said about Jackson. “He’s about to find out there’s levels to this; Maurice is gonna handle business.”

Putting aside respect for the other camp, this is a classic tune-up for one of North America’s best true junior welterweights. A can’t-lose matchup in front of a hometown audience, dressed wonderfully for the occasion while raising money and awareness for a 36-year-old organization that helps lower-income families in the Mid-Cities region of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Hooker trained in Dallas for this weekend’s fight but usually spends much of his camp-time in San Diego and in the San Bernardino Mountains, training where other boxers go to suck in the thin air above Southern California’s air pollution at 6,750 feet elevation.

“I love Big Bear training camp, there’s nothing to do but train,” Hooker said.

Hooker has no problem weighing in under the super lightweight limit of 140 pounds. His slim build hides a powerful right hand. Hooker feels his best assets in the ring are his jab and his power. He sparred this camp with welterweight Greg Jackson, of Philadelphia, Johnny Garcia from Michigan and DFW lightweight Manuel Rey Rojas, among others. 

Hooker is a family man who he thinks he has two or three more fights at 140 pounds “And go from there, he said. “I want to retire around 154 with a couple title belts.” 

NABO Super Lightweight Title – Maurice Hooker vs. Cortney Jackson
Saturday, August 19, 2017 – Omni Hotel, Dallas, Texas


Photos: Alberto Machado, Carlos Morales – Ready For War

The weights are now in, as NABO Super Featherweight champion Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado (17-0, 15 KOs) and NABA Super Featherweight champion Carlos “The Solution” Morales (16-1-3, 6 KOs) stepped on the scale ahead of their 10-round super featherweight unification fight that will headline the Aug. 18 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. Catch the live coverage of Machado vs. Morales on ESPN Deportes starting at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST, and on ESPN2 beginning at 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT.

Both boxers weighed in at 130-pounds on the nose.




Machado vs. Morales is a 10-round fight for the NABO and NABA super featherweight titles, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD and Hennessy, never stop, never settle. The bout will take place on Friday, August 18 at Complejo Ferial De Puerto Rico in Ponce. The ESPN 3 and ESPN app will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT and coverage will air live on ESPN Deportes starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT and on ESPN2 at 11 p.m. ET/ 8:00 p.m. PT.

Credit:  Photo: Hector Santos Guia/ Miguel Cotto Promotions, LLC, Golden Boy Promotions


Photos: Alberto Machado, Carlos Morales – Go Face To Face

NABO Super Featherweight champion Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado (17-0, 15 KOs) and NABA Super Featherweight champion Carlos “The Solution” Morales (16-1-3, 6 KOs) hosted a press conference today ahead of their 10-round super featherweight unification fight that will headline the Aug. 18 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. Catch the live coverage of Machado vs. Morales on ESPN Deportes starting at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST, and on ESPN2 beginning at 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT.

Below is what fighters on the Friday, August 18 Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN main event had to say at today’s press conference:

ALBERTO “EXPLOSIVO” MACHADO, NABA Super Featherweight Champion:
“Thank you all for coming today, and I give thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to be here. I am super happy and gracious to my team, especially to Freddie Roach, Marvin Somodio, and Miguel Cotto for helping me in my preparation for this great fight.”
“I know I am prepared not only just physically, but mentally for this fight. I would like to thank Golden Boy and their entire team, and welcome them to the island. I know that Morales has prepared well, and is ready to give a tough fight. I know he has had difficulties before in his career, and he has slowly come up the ranks. However, I had the great career opportunity to train with Miguel Cotto, and I have learned so much from his discipline so that I can one day become Puerto Rico’s next world champion.”

CARLOS “THE SOLUTION” MORALES, NABO Super Featherweight Champion:
“Thank you to everyone for the support. I am extremely happy to be here, in the island of enchantment, to be able to continue my goals and dreams in becoming a future world champion. I know I am facing an extremely strong opponent in Alberto Machado. We are going to provide a great war, as there always is between the Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry.”
“I know Machado prepared very well, as he was training in Los Angeles with Miguel Cotto and Freddie Roach. I trained out of Los Angeles as well – the boxing world is a small one. We have come to take everyone by surprise – something that I have always done in my career in coming as the opponent and coming out victorious. We will be giving Machado “The Solution” come Friday, August 18.”

ROBERTO DIAZ, Matchmaker of Golden Boy Promotions:
“We are very excited and happy to be back again in Puerto Rico, and be working with one of the best boxers the island has produced – the great Miguel Cotto. This is the first of many, many more shows, and we wanted to jump start our partnership with a great show, with two great fighters, with the always warlike Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry.”
“This is a very important fight for both fighters. There is a lot at risk here – the winner of this fight will most definitely be fighting for a world title soon. Morales came to us as a rival opponent three times, in which he beat three of our guys. When I asked him, ‘Why are you beating my guys? He responded with, ‘I want to be a Golden Boy Fighter, I want to be a world champion.’ All eyes will be on Puerto Rico this Friday, with the ESPN coverage reaching 50 countries.”

HECTOR SOTO, Vice-President of Cotto Promotions:
“Good afternoon, thank you to all the press for attending this final press conference for our Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN event held at Complejo Ferial de Puerto Rico. We are very excited about the top, worldwide quality level event we have put together. I would like to thank our sponsors and Golden Boy Promotions for helping us put together such an event. We are presenting a grand total of eight fights come Friday, that are sure to entertain.
“Machado comes from training with Miguel Cotto and Freddie Roach in Los Angeles in preparation for this fight. We tasked ourselves with the homework to make little tweaks in Machado, and convert him into a great star. We are excited that our great prospect will have a platform like ESPN to show his talent to the world that we have always known he has.”

Machado vs. Morales is a 10-round fight for the NABO and NABA super featherweight titles, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD and Hennessy, never stop, never settle. The bout will take place on Friday, August 18 at Complejo Ferial De Puerto Rico in Ponce. The ESPN 3 and ESPN app will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT and coverage will air live on ESPN Deportes starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT and on ESPN2 at 11 p.m. ET/ 8:00 p.m. PT.


Martinez hits Kissimmee, FL

Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez arrived in Orlando, Florida in anticipation of his upcoming fight this Friday, July 28th at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, FL against David “El Severo” Carmona for the vacant NABO Jr. Bantamweight title. Martinez arrived confident with his coach Julio Martinez. The official weigh-in is open to public today from 4-6 PM at the Osceola Heritage Park. Tickets are now on sale @ Ticketmaster.com.


Carmona-Martinez clash Friday on Telemundo

The popular series Boxeo Telemundo Ford will conclude their summer season this Friday, July 28 at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida the new home of All Star Boxing in the city.

In the main event a classic battle between Mexico and Puerto Rico when two-time world title challenger David “El Severo” Carmona takes on undefeated prospect Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds with the vacant NABO super flyweight title at stake. Carmona, 26, comes from Mexico City, Mexico is currently ranked #11 WBA, #15 WBO and WBC, his last fight he lost a hard fought decision to former world champion Carlos Cuadras and has a record of 20-4-5, 8 KOs. Martinez, 24, hails from Las Marias, Puerto Rico ranked #12 WBO and holds an undefeated record of 19-0-1, 12 KOs.

Also in action fast rising undefeated local prospect Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera (11-0, 6 KOs) of Kissimmee, Florida who takes on Juan Carlos Benavidez (7-9-1, 4 KOs) of Mexico in a fight scheduled for 6 rounds in the featherweight division. 

Felix Verdejo’s teammate undefeated Henry “Moncho” Lebron (2-0, 2 KOs) of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico will also see action when he faces Daruma Almenares (0-1) of West Palm Beach, Florida in a 4 round bout in the lightweight division. There will be a total of 7 bouts scheduled.

Doors open at 7:00 PM, first fight 8:00 PM, Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee, Florida. Telemundo will televise the main event at 11:35 PM ET, 10:35 PM CT. The show is presented by Tuto Zabala, Jr., All Star Boxing, Inc, Carmona-Martinez bout in association with Promociones Miguel Cotto. The Rivera-Benavides and Lebron-Alamenares bouts in association with Top Rank. Tickets are already on sale at Ticketmaster.com.


Valentin and Santillan face to face

Tampa, FL: NABO welterweight Champion “Hurricane” Sammy Valentin and challenger Giovanni “Gallo de Oro” Santillan went face to face at press conference at the Children’s Cancer Center in anticipation of their clash of this Friday, July 7th at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida. Valentin, 22, a Bay Area Title hopeful of puertorrican heritage, is ranked #9 by the WBO and has a record of 12-0-9 KO’s. Santillan, 25, hails from San Diego, California of Mexican roots is a former NABF Champion and spots an unblemished record of 21-0-11 KO’s. This battle between undefeated prospects is schedule for 10 rounds with Valentin’s title at stake. 
Also on hand WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel who will supervise the bout, took the opportunity and made a $3,000.00 dollar donation on behalf of the organization to the Children’s Cancer Center for the second year in a row. This years donation was made in memory of former WBO ratings chairman Luis Perez who passed away last December 28 after battling with the disease.
In a special attraction local female sensation Noemi “La Rebelde” Bosques will face Sonia Osorio in another classic battle between Puerto Rico and Mexico schedule for 6 rounds in the super flyweight division.
5 more fights on the card. Doors open at 7PM, first fight 8:00 PM. The A La Carte Pavilion is located @ 4050 Dana Shore Drive, Tampa, FL. For Information and Tickets call 813-454-7800. Valentin Vs. Santillan is presented by Tuto Zabala’s Jr., All Star Boxing, Inc in association with Thompson Boxing and will be televised live at 11:35 PM by the Telemundo Network.

Sammy Valentin media day in Tampa

sammy5 Photo: Latinboxsports –

Undefeated NABO Welterweight Champion and WBO #9 contender “Hurricane” Sammy Valentin (12-0, 9 KOs) held a media workout today at the Punch for Fitness Gym in his hometown of Tampa, Florida in anticipation of his upcoming defense July 7th against fellow undefeated prospect Giovanny “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (21-0, 11 KO’s) at the A La Carte Pavilion as part of the successful series Boxeo Telemundo.

“I want to thank the media and my team for their support, on July 7 I know I have in front of me the biggest challenge of my career. Santillan is also undefeated, young and hungry but I have always passed the tests that have been put in front of me and this one will be no different,” said Valentin. “I have been working very hard with my Father (trainer) Sammy Valentin and my team and I will be ready.”

Santillan will hold a media workout next Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Doors open at 7PM, first fight 8:00 PM. The A La Carte Pavilion is located @ 4050 Dana Shore Drive, Tampa, FL. For Information and Tickets call 813-454-7800. Valentin Vs. Santillan is presented by Tuto Zabala’s Jr., All Star Boxing, Inc in association with Thompson Boxing and will be televised live at 11:35 PM by the Telemundo Network.


05/26/2017 Kanat Islam vs. Norberto Gonzalez

Date: Friday, May 26, 2017

WBO NABO Jr. Middleweight Championship Title Bout

Location: Boca Raton Hotel & Club, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Promoter:    Nelson Promotions / Nelson Lopez, Sr.

Supervisor:   Joe Hernandez

Referee:  Frank Santore Jr.


Results: Kanat Islam won the WBO NABO Jr. Middleweight Championship by unanimous decision over Norberto Gonzalez in Boca Raton Hotel & Club, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.


04/01/2017 Alberto Machado vs. Juan Jose Martinez

Date:  Saturday, April 1, 2017

WBO Vacant NABO Jr. Lightweight Championship

Location: Complejo Ferial de Ponce, Ponce, PR

Promoter:   Promociones Miguel Cotto  / Miguel Cotto – H2 Promotions / Hector Soto

Supervisor:  Adolfo Flores Monge

Referee: José H. Rivera

Judges:  Luis Ruiz, Nelson Vazquez, Gerardo Martinez

Results:   The NABO Jr. Lightweight Championship Title was won by Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado against Juan Jose “Piket” Martinez by KO in the first round.  


Alberto Machado Crushes Juan Jose Martinez in One Round

jose-ramos Photo by Jose Ramos

By Reynaldo “El Papi Chulo” Sanchez –

PONCE, PUERTO RICO – Alberto ‘El Explosivo’ Machado staked his NABO world title, the regional organization affiliated with the WBO, in the stellar clash presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions at the modern Ponce Feria Complex on Saturday night as part of Cotto’s series on DIRECTV channel 161.

The Puerto Rican knockout artist raised his record to 17-0 and 15 KOs, with a first round knockout of experienced Mexican fighter Juan Jose ‘Piquet’ Martinez (26-4 and 18 KO’s). The ten round bout was part of a co-promotion with H2 Entertainment, that will be part of the DIRECTV Boxing Nights series.

The Mexican boxer Martinez visited the canvas twice ‘ before the referee of the match Jose H. Rivera decided to stop the fight.

Machado is viewed as a serious contender to the super featherweight title. And with each presentation Machado comes out showing great skills and a powerful punch. His opponent, Martinez, led another Puerto Rican fighter, Félix Verdejo, to the fifth round before getting stopped in a June 2016 clash.

“This fight is extremely important for Machado, not only for his hand to get raised high but also his NABO crown and he is classified within the first ten in the world at 130 pounds. We know that Machado has the potential and the skills,” said promoter Héctor Soto.


Photos: Alberto Machado, Juan Jose Martinez – Official Weigh-In

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PONCE, PUERTO RICO – Alberto ‘El Explosivo’ Machado is risking his NABO, the regional organization affiliated with the WBO, in the stellar clash of the world class billboard presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions at the modern Ponce Feria Complex on Saturday, April 1 live on DIRECTV channel 161.

With a record of 16-0 and 14 KOs, Machado, the Monte Hatillo knockout artist, is facing the experienced Mexican fighter Juan Jose ‘Piquet’ Martinez (26-3 and 18 KO’s) in the 10-round scheduled bout in a co-promotion with H2 Entertainment, that will be part of the DIRECTV Boxing Nights series.

“This fight is extremely important for Machado, not only for his hand to get raised high but also his NABO crown and he is classified within the first ten in the world at 130 pounds. We know that Machado has the potential and the skills but we must not lose sight that he has a great Mexican fighter in front of him, ” commented Héctor Soto.

In the co-feature, also over ten rounds, Jose ‘Chiquiro ‘Martinez (18-0-1 and 11 KOs), from Las Marías, will face Miguel’ El Loco ‘Robles (12-5-2 and five KOs), from Cataño, in another big match.

“We are very happy, we have a great event on a world-wide level in Ponce this Saturday and we hope everyone will tune in to DIRECTV. We expect full house in Ponce,” said Soto.

As a special attraction, also in the third fight as a professional, the former member of the national team, Danielito Zorrilla (2-0 and two), of Toa Baja, will take part in a four round bout at 142 pounds with Arnaldo Montalvo (0-1) from Arecibo.

Zorrilla, who debuted as a professional on the same stage last November 12, is coming back from knocking out Onyx Curras in the first round on February 11 at the Roger L. Mendoza Coliseum.

Zorrilla spent several weeks training with Miguel Cotto in Los Angeles under coach Freddie Roach when he was supposed to see the action on the Feb. 25 undercard in Texas that was canceled because of an injury to James Kirkland, the opponent of the five-time Puerto Rican champion.










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Hooker poised for PPV debut


By Jeff Zimmerman
Photos by Stacey Verbeek

From the hardscrabble streets of Dallas, Texas to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada NABO Junior Welterweight Champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (21-0-2, 16 KOs) is well on his way to hitting the proverbial jackpot. Guided by his manager Arnie Verbeek, owner of Maple Ave Boxing Gym in Dallas and promoter Roc Nation, Hooker will make his PPV debut as the lead in fight to Kovalev-Ward when he fights former world champion Darleys Perez (33-2-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday, November 19th.

For Hooker, with his slender build and powerful right hand and of course his signature lollipop that he brings into the ring and enjoys post-fight, the path to this point has been anything but easy. Nothing has been handed to Hooker and every fight to date has been an important stepping stone to get to this stage of his career. Perhaps that is why he seems unfazed of the moment and the fortunes that potentially lie ahead.

“It’s another fight, another big fight. It’s still a ring, I still go in there and do my thing. I try not to let anything get to me, just another fight.” 

His trainer Vincent Parra is also a calming influence on Hooker.

“We try to make sure he knows and he does, it’s just him and the other guy in the boxing ring we have been training in. The people get blanked out when you’re focused and the only thing you can see is Darleys Perez, that’s where the focus comes in,” stated Parra.

This will be Hooker’s third fight under the Roc Nation banner as well as fighting alongside promotional stablemate world champion Andre Ward. Like past camps, he has trained and sparred with super lightweight champion Terence Crawford and also added the young but talented lightweight Devin Haney to the mix.

“Sparring with Crawford I learn a lot. We talk after sparring. He tells me what I am doing wrong and what I am doing right. I had to be patient sparring with him. Sparring with Devin, it was good. He brings a lot of energy and is very quick. He reminds me of myself when I was sparring Miguel Cotto. I think he is the next up and coming. He is young and willing to learn the game.”

At 27, Hooker is still relatively young, far from his prime and still learning but with a breakout performance preceding this year’s biggest fight in Kovalev-Ward, this could be the fight that truly launches his career. Roc Nation must hope so by putting him in this position, but Hooker takes it all in stride.

“No, I don’t feel any pressure, this is what I do for living, just another big fight for me. It’s just another big fight for me, my fight before that was a big fight for me, my fight before that was a big fight for me. I’m just moving up one fight at a time. I see Darleys Perez, he’s beatable. I see my skills can beat him. No pressure on me, I’m just ready to fight, this is what I do for a living.”

Don’t expect Hooker to look past Perez either even though an impressive win could line him up for big fights in 2017.

“I am not worried about that, right now I am just worried about Perez. After this fight we’ll see, but right now I am just worried about Perez. He’s a dangerous little guy and I just don’t want to lose focus and look to far down the road, I’m just focused on him right now.”

Parra is not taking any chances with his prized pupil and knows that Perez is a dangerous fighter and will have Hooker prepared.

“There’s the obvious thing, we are bigger, he’s moving up to Mo’s division, we have the reach advantage which he does on most guys and he’s a pure puncher, but with that being said this is boxing and anything can happen. We just keep it in perspective that he was a world champion and he made it to that point and not a lot of guys do and we have to respect that,” explained Parra.

Parra added, “I just expect if Maurice fights Maurice fight, he’s definitely the better all-around fighter. Maurice has to fight his fight and if he does that I think we are going to take care of business and move on to the next.”

Hooker also takes great pride of being a part of an exciting crop of fighters hailing from Dallas that include Errol Spence Jr., Charles Hatley and Samuel Clarkson just to name a few.

“It’s a good feeling. I hope everyone makes it from Dallas. It’s a good feeling that Dallas is coming up but everyone has their own pace and I wish all of them the best. Right now I am just worried about me, but it’s a good feeling. We are coming up.”

Hooker is ready to test Perez early.

“I will go in there and box him, just look for an exciting fight, I am going to box him. I am going to test his chin early and see what he’s made of coming up from 135. He has been hurt a couple of times and I am going to test his chin. Go in there box, stay relaxed and take my time with him.”

Parra just wants Hooker to be himself.

“Just be Mo, if you watch us, we approach every fight the same. Mo will go out to the middle of the ring and meet him and either he will go out and meet Mo there or he’ll start dancing and go from there. We like to plan on guys having a plan for us, we are not worried about what he’s going to do, and we are more focused on what we are going to do. Maurice is going to fight his fight and make Perez fight his fight.”

Parra continued, “The plan is to be himself. Mo is going to come up and fight at range and look for opportunities and if there is blood in the water I send him at him. Everything is going to be done very methodically. Like Mo said, he’s going to take his time. You can plan all you want, but fights play out and act out and do what we want to do and see how Perez can handle and how he can adjust.”

Although Hooker and Parra are 100% focused on their fight, both weighed in on the Kovalev-Ward mega matchup.

Hooker stated confidently, “Ward is going to outbox him, he is going to make Kovalev adjust to him, and he has ring smarts. Andre Ward is just a good fighter. I see Andre Ward winning.”

Parra expects a great fight and sees it as a toss-up.

“If you’re a fight fan, it’s a fight fan’s fight, it’s going to be interesting. For me, it’s a 50-50 fight, I’m a fan of both guys. Obviously we are stablemates of Andre Ward but on the other side John David Jackson is one of my really good friends and I have been following him and Sergey for a lot of years so for me it’s just a hard fight to dissect because both guys do so many things well. Both guys have very good camps. I look forward to a great fight I think it’s going to be tremendous, it’s very hard for me to pick at this point.”

Hooker, as always, will look to steal the show with his one punch knock out power. And although he is taking the right approach and sees this as just another fight, it is far from it. An impressive performance could put him on a “fighters to watch list” in 2017. So far for Hooker, his manager and promoter have made all the right moves. A big win next Saturday could lead to those potential jackpots that only fighting in Las Vegas could bring. But don’t expect Hooker to be blinded by the bright lights.

“I have no pressure, I am always looking for the knockout, it’s going to be a very good fight and I am going to take it to him.”

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Photos: Maurice Hooker, Claressa Shields Putting in Work


NABO Junior Welterweight Champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (21-0-2, 16 KOs) and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields co-hosted a media workout in Las Vegas ahead of their undercard appearances on Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” taking place Saturday, Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photos by Hoganphotos.


Shields, making her professional debut against American rival Franchon Crews, will be featured on the freeview telecast beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT on the Pay-Per-View events channel prior to the official telecast, and through livestreaming on HBO Boxing’s YouTube channel.

Hooker, who will be defending his NABO title against veteran Darleys Perez (33-2-1, 21 KOs), will be featured during the televised undercard leading up to the main event on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Titles, takes place Saturday, Nov. 19, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. “Pound for Pound” is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Rosneft and Corona Extra.

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WBO #3 Marriaga KOs WBO #14 Robb for NABO belt


By Karl Freitag
Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

In a clash of featherweight contenders, WBO #3 Miguel Marriaga (24-1, 20 KOs) scored a sixth round KO over #14 rated Guy Robb (18-2, 8 KOs) on Saturday night’s “Rural Rumble” at the Churchill County Fairgrounds in Fallon, Nevada. Marriaga connected with a series of right hands, finally dropping Robb in round six. Referee Russell Mora waved in off at 2:06. Former world title challenger Marriaga claimed the vacant North American Boxing Organization (NABO) featherweight title. Robb had his eleven-fight win streak snapped.

WBO #3 lightweight Jose Felix Jr. (34-1-1, 26 KOs) scored a punishing sixth round TKO over game journeyman “Red Hot” Rob Frankel (34-17-1, 7 KOs). A barrage of shots finished Frankel at 2:23 of round six.

Unbeaten featherweight prospect Jose ‘El Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (5-0-1, 2 KOs) outpointed Gelacio Cruz (2-4-2, 1 KO) in a four-round fight. Scores were 40-36 across the board.

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Antonio Margarito Drops, Edges Ramon Alvarez With Split Nod


Centro De Convenciones, Rosarito, Baja California –  Former world champion Antonio Margarito (40-8, 27 KOs) won a ten round split decision over Ramon Alvarez (23-5-2, 15 KOs), the older brother of Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, to capture the vacant NABO Jr. Middleweight championship. The scores were 95-94 Alvarez, and 97-92, 97-92 for Margarito.

Alvarez started off by working the jab and landing some good counters. He was pushing the pace with Margarito, who seemed to be very cautious and taking his time. Alvarez was outworking him in the first round and landed some very good head shots.  Margarito was throwing his own jab in the second round. It didn’t seem to be very hard and was more of a range finder to set up other punches. Margarito was getting off with some very hard shots to the body and doing better defensively to make Alvarez miss. Alvarez continued to throw a lot of fast punches, with some landing.

Margarito started coming forward and pushing Alvarez back in the third round. This time it was Margarito pushing the pace, getting Alvarez to the ropes and letting his hands go. Alvarez stayed dangerous with counters that would catch Margarito when he walked in unprotected.

Alvarez was back on the attack at the start of the fourth, landing good counters to the head and now allowing Margarito to do his work. It wasn’t until the final thirty seconds when Margarito was able to get some body shots in. Things were tightening up in the fifth and sixth. Margarito was doing some very good work and landing hard shots on Alvarez, who had bruising and swelling around the right eye.

Margarito continued to push the pace in the seventh, coming forward and making it a fight. Alvarez was still landing good counters, with Margairto making it easy due to a lack of defense. During the eight round, Margarito had his best work and scored a knockdown after a series of shots to make the crowd erupt. Alvarez beat the count and took punches until the close of the round.

Alvarez seemed to get a second wind in the ninth and landed a big overhand bomb that Margarito walked right through and kept coming with punches of his own. Alvarez, sensing he was behind on the cards, showed urgency in the tenth and final round by head-hunting for something big to put Margarito on his back. He landed a few good right hands, but not enough to do serious damage or score a knockdown. Margarito was playing it safe, pawing with his jab and appeared to be coasting for the most part until the final bell.

This was Margarito’s second fight since breaking his retirement in March, when he won a ten round decision over Jorge Paez Jr. In that contest Margarito was knocked down and seemed to be seriously hurt. He survived that near disaster to pull off the win. Prior to the March bout, Margarito retired in December 2011 after getting stopped in his rematch with Miguel Cotto.

Coming into this contest, Alvarez had not lost in his last 10 outings in the ring, including nine victories, eight of them by knockout, and one no-contest after a head clash. Alvarez prepared hard for this fight with the help of his younger brother, Canelo.


Maurice Hooker Blasts Barnett Out With First Round Knockout On Co-Main Event of Andre Ward/Brand Card


Written by Hector Sanchez / Photos by Stacey Verbeek –

Super Lightweight champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (21-0-2, 16 KO’s) from Dallas, Texas returned to Oakland and rocked Ty Barnett (23-5-1, 15 KO’s) with a stiff right hand in the opening moments of the first round to the thunderous applause and excitement of the boxing fans in attendance at the ROC NATION/HBO fight card at Oracle Arena this past Saturday night.


As the first round continued, Barnett was moving to his left with his back to the corner, and Mighty Mo tagged him with a stiff left hand jab that snapped his opponent’s head back. As they moved in the middle of the ring, the champion landed his signature straight right hand that buckled Barnett’s legs and he retreated to the ropes.

Mighty Mo then moved forward and landed two lightning left hooks that backed his opponent up and then he landed a powerful left hook that buckled Barnett who landed against the ropes and attempted to hold onto the champion to save himself from going down.


In the next second, Mighty Mo landed another huge left hook and a right hand that put Barnett down to the canvas that brought the audience to their feet around the Oracle Arena. Barnett took a knee as the referee made the count and then the fight continued.

As he danced around the ring waiting for the eight count to end, and sensing an early finish, Mighty Mo stayed composed as the fight continued. He quickly and cautiously went after Barnett and landed numerous left hooks and several overhand rights right in front of Bernard Hopkins who was a ringside commentator for HBO, along with Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman. After several more stiff jabs Mighty Mo landed a huge right hand that snapped Barnett’s head back against the ropes and the referee stepped in to stop the fight with the official KO at 2:17 of the first round.


I was told before the fight by Mighty Mo that it would not go past five rounds and another prediction rang true. Because of his long training camp, he came into this fight with exceeding confidence and continued his undefeated winning streak and the defense of his WBO/NABO Super Lightweight title for his return to Dallas, Texas.


At ringside, when I asked him, “How did you feel when you first touched him in the first round, he laughed and said “I knew it was over with, and he was in trouble.” He went on to say “I stayed relaxed and knew my knockout was coming and I am ready for anybody.”




Fenomenal victoria de Orlando ‘El Fenómeno’ Cruz sobre Alejandro Valdez


Orlando ‘El Fenómeno’ Cruz se apuntó una fenomenal victoria el viernes en la noche en Kissimmee, Florida, y se puso en dirección a un posible combate ante el monarca interino de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), el mexicano Miguel ‘El Alacrán’ Berchelt quien primero tendrá la encomienda de salir por la puerta ancha el sábado en el Polideportivo Soraya Jiménez, de Los Reyes de La Paz en su natal país.

El púgil boricua cumplió su palabra y con un sólido triunfo rindió tributo póstumo a las víctimas de la reciente masacre de la discoteca Pulse de Orlando al vencer por la vía rápida a los dos minutos del séptimo asalto al mexicano Alejandro Valdez en la estelar del cartel presentado en el Kissimmee Civic Center por la empresa promotora All Star Boxing.

Cruz, que mejoró su récord a 24-4-1 y 12 nocauts, y que también retuvo su corona de las 130 libras de la North American Boxing Organización (NABO), filial de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), subió al ensogado vistiendo los colores alusivos a la organización LBGTT, de donde es uno de los principales portavoces. Cuarenta y tres campanazos antecedieron el choque en honor a los caídos.

El púgil que hace unos años se convirtió en el primer boxeador profesional en la historia en aceptar abiertamente su homosexualidad, abrió con fuerza su duelo ante Valdez, un peleador natural de Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, México.

Cruz derribó una primera vez a Valdez en el séptimo con una combinación de ‘upper’ de izquierda y gancho de derecha, y luego terminó la contienda enviándolo por segunda ocasión a la lona con similar ataque para poner fin a las hostilidades.

La victoria permitirá que Cruz, quien actualmente está quinto en el ranking de las 130 libras de la OMB, ascienda próximamente camino a una oportunidad mundialista. Actualmente, es el ucraniano Vasyl Lomachenko el campeón en propiedad en esa división. Berchelt, que tiene marca de 29-1 y 26KO’s, es el campeón interino, y defenderá el sábado ante el excampeón tailandés Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, quien en el 2014 cayó por decisión a manos de Lomachenko.

Valdez, que durante su carrera ha enfrentado a excampeones del mundo como el mexicano Cristian Mijares, vio caer su marca a 26-8-2 y 20KO’s.

“Fue una buena victoria. Ahora es cuestión de seguir escalando. Tengo un equipo de trabajo excepcional y no tengo prisa en llegar a mi oportunidad titular”, expresó Cruz tras el triunfo.

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“Fue una noche especial. La abrimos con esos 43 campanazos. Luego demostré que aún con 35 años, todavía queda mucho boxeo. No he perdido mi fuerza, mi poder y mi pegada. Creo que todo es cuestión de tiempo y aquí estamos, esperando la oportunidad”, sostuvo.

Cruz adelantó que podría estar de vuelta al ensogado entre los meses de agosto y octubre. En octubre podría formar parte de un evento antesala de la celebración en Orlando de la Parada Gay el día ocho de ese mes.

Cruz venía de vencer por decisión unánime a Rómulo Koasicha el pasado mes de marzo en Tampa, Florida.

“Un ascenso es lo que esperamos y que también peleé por un título mundial”, añadió Zabala, promotor de Cruz. “Nos gustaría mucho una pelea con el campeón interino Miguel Berchelt, pero hay que esperar primero a ver que pasa en su pelea de mañana (sábado) en donde defenderá su corona interina. Pero también hay que ver lo que dice la OMB. Creo que Orlando hizo su trabajo, demostró una vez más que está aquí para pelear con los mejores”, sostuvo.



Jarrell Miller destroys Nick Guivas

miller By Jim Dower: –

Undefeated hard hitting WBO #11, WBA #12, IBF #15 heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller (17-0-1, 15 KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact on Friday night in destroying an over-matched Nick Guivas (12-4-2, 9 KOs) in a 2nd round knockout at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

The 283-pound Miller used heavy shots to the body of Guivas to knock him down four times in the fight. Two of the knockdowns came in the 1st round, and the last two in the 2nd round. The fight was halted after the second knockdown in round two.

Referee Dick Pakozdi stopped the fight officially at 1:26 of the 2nd round. In winning the bout, the 6’4” Miller captured the vacant WBO NABO heavyweight title.

In the 1st round, Miller dropped Guivas with a hard left to the body. Moments later, Miller knocked Guivas down with a grazing right hand to the head.

Miller knocked Guivas down twice body shots in the 2nd round. Guivas couldn’t stand up to the body attack from Miller.

If there was one area where Miller looked vulnerable it was on defense. Guivas hit Miller with some hard left hooks to the head in round one. Miller took the shots without any problems, but you could tell that the shots got his attention. Had it been a harder puncher than Guivas in there with Miller last night, it might have been a different story.

After the fight, Miller called out Wladimir Klitschko, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. Miller wants to fight all four of those guys. Miller is going to need to tighten up his defense first before he gets in the ring with those guys. Miller also needs to lose a little more weight. His best fighting weight is in the low 260s. Last night, Miller was 283. He fought well at that weight, but he was slow on his feed and plodding around the ring. If Miller wants to compete against the top heavyweights, he’ll need to make an effort to drop another 20 pounds without losing his power in the process.

“Nothing is ever easy,” said Miller after dispatching Guivas. “He caught me with a couple of shots, but I like that kind of stuff. Wladimir Klitschko – Tyson Fury, ain’t nobody wants to see a 12 round hump-fest again, but listen, I’d gladly take the winner of that fight. If you don’t call my name, let’s go to Povetkin and Wilder. I can see it right now, New York vs. Alabama, North vs. South. He’s a bum and I’m going to knock your lights out. I’m not forgetting about Anthony Joshua either. He’s talking a lot of smack about [Dominic] Breazeale over there. Breazeale ain’t got no heart, but I bet you won’t talk to me like that. I’d make you swallow your teeth. Call my name. Anlot of these guys ain’t fighting top prospects or top opponents. You’ve got Deontay Wilder; he’s fighting a washed up Chris Arreola. So these guys are just going for payday. You don’t want to fight no top prospects. I dare you to call my name. At the end of the day, it’s soon going to be my time, and they’re going to have to fight me, and I’ll break their jaw,” said Miller.


Pinoy boxer Joebert Alvarez scores upset KO over Jonathan Gonzalez

donaire-alvarez-20160320_ADAFBC0E0C7A44799F5E3F3601445CA2  UPSET WIN. Joebert Alvarez poses with trainer Nonito Donaire Sr after stopping Jonathan Gonzalez in Puerto Rico. Photo from Donaire’s Facebook –

Alvarez scores a 6th round technical knockout over the former amateur star in Puerto Rico to earn the biggest victory of his career.

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxer Joebert Alvarez scored the biggest win over his career, stopping Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez in 6 rounds at the Coliseo Mario ‘Quijote’ Morales in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on Sunday, March 20.

Alvarez (15-1-1, 7 knockouts) of General Santos City, Philippines knocked Gonzalez (18-2-1, 12 KOs) down in round two before a combination put him down for the last time 4 rounds later, Alvarez’s trainer Nonito Donaire Sr tells Rappler.

The win earned Alvarez the vacant WBO NABO and WBC FECARBOX flyweight titles, regional belts which could position Alvarez for a world ranking with those organizations.

Gonzalez, a former amateur star in Puerto Rico, had been unbeaten in his last 6 fights following his lone career defeat, a fourth round knockout loss to former champion Giovani Segura in 2013.

Alvarez, 26, had shown hints of his potential in his previous fight in December of 2014, when he went the distance with WBO/WBA flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada in a non-title fight.

Donaire Sr says Alvarez’s promoter All Star Boxing has plans of putting Alvarez on a fight card on July 9 against an opponent to be determined. 



Confident Koasicha vs Cruz on Telemundo tonight


Recent world title challenger Romulo Koasicha (25-5, 15 KOs) of Mexico challenges NABO junior lightweight champion and former world title challenger Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz (22-4-1, 11 KOs) from Puerto Rico. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds and will be aired on “Boxeo TELEMUNDO Ford.” The site of the fight will be the A La Carte Pavillion in Tampa, Florida.

Koasicha debu’ed on Telemundo last July where he defeated Guillermo “El Borrego” Avila. The victory positioned him for a showdown with WBO featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko this past September. Koasicha was unsuccessful in his challenge but feels he will only get better from the experience. He plans to show this versus Cruz tonight. 

When you last spoke with Fightnews.com®, you were getting ready for your Telemundo debut last July. How surprised were you that you landed a world title fight your very next fight?

I was totally surprised. Some fighters never get an opportunity to fight for a world title. I trained hard and I did the very best I could.

What did you take from the opportunity even though you were not victorious?

It was all positive for me. I also gained some very valuable experience against a very elite fighter. I am confident it will help me alot in my fight tonight.

How familiar are you with Orlando Cruz?

He is a very good fighter. I have a lot of respect for him. I will definitely have to be at my absolute best to defeat him and I have trained this way accordingly.

Do you expect any trouble with the Cruz’ southpaw style?

I have fought southpaws but Cruz has a very unique style. I have had alot of southpaw sparring for this fight. Keep in mind my last fight was a with a southpaw in Lomachenko. It doesn’t get more complicated than that.

You have fought your career at 126 for the most part even though this fight is at 130. Is the plan to stay at this weight class? 

126 is my best weight. I wanted to take this fight for the opportunity and for the activity. The plan is for me to return to 126 after this fight but for a real good opportunity I can fight at 130 with no problem.

What kind of fight should the fans expect tonight?

Two determined fighters wanting to get back to the world title fight. The fact that it’s a Mexican fighter vs a Puerto Rican sets the expectations that much bigger.

http: //www.fightnews.com/Boxing/confident-koasicha-vs-cruz-on-telemundo-tonight-327579#more-327579

Derrick Webster – Arif Magomedov for NABO Middleweight title on ShoBox , July 17 at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem


Bethlehem, PA (June 29, 2015)–On Friday, July 17 at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Derrick Webster (19-0, 10KO’s) of Glassboro, New Jersey will take on Arif Magomedov for the NABO Middleweight title which will serve as the co-feature of a big quadruple-header that will be televised live on SHOWTIME’s award winning ShoBox: The New Generation.

The fight is scheduled for 10-rounds.

The bout is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions and Main Events and will support the 10-round Middleweight main event event between undefeated fighter’s Antoine Douglas (17-0-1, 11 KO’s) of Burke, VA and Istavan Szili (18-0-2, 8 KO’s) of Frenkendorf, Switzerland. In another title clash, Adam Lopez (12-0, 6 KO’s) of San Antonio, Texas will take on Eliecer Aquino (17-0-1, 11 KO’s) of Higuey, Dominican Republic in a 10-round Super Bantamweight bout for the WBA FEDELATIN and WBC Interim Latino titles. The opening bout will pit Super Middleweight’s Jerry Odom (13-1, 11 KO’s) of Washington, DC and Samuel Clarkson (14-3, 8 KO’s) of Ceder Hill, TX in a bout scheduled for 8-rounds.