Hooker: Can Catterall handle my power?

967864558.jpg.0 - Hooker: Can Catterall handle my power?

The 140-pound titleholder is searching for opponents, and Jack Catterall could fit the bill by the end of this year.

WBO junior welterweight titleholder Maurice Hooker is coming off of a one-sided win over Mikkel LesPierre on March 9 in a matchup that turned out to have far more drama on the scales than in the ring.

That fight was partially the result of Hooker, 29, just not having a lot of options at the moment. Four of the division’s top fighters — Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, and Kiryl Relikh — are stilled tied up in the World Boxing Super Series, and the WBC titleholder, Jose Ramirez, is looking headed for a fight with Ray Beltran.

Hooker tells BT Sport that he’ll be back this summer in his hometown.

“I’m fighting sometime in July in Dallas,” he said. “I don’t have an opponent yet because everybody I want to fight is either in the tournament or getting ready to fight, so I’m waiting on whoever.”

As BT is a UK outlet, Hooker was asked about potentially returning to the United Kingdom, where he won his title against Terry Flanagan in June 2018 — specifically, he was asked about fighting Jack Catterall.

“I’d love to come back to the UK to fight, I loved it over there,” Hooker said. The fans are real nice and they know a lot about boxing.”

With a smile, he said, “I’d love to fight Jack Catterall. I’d fight him anywhere. I just feel like he’s not really on my level.”

Catterall (23-0, 12 KO) is a 25-year-old southpaw with solid wins over Tyrone McKenna and Ohara Davies in his last two. He’s slated to fight this Saturday at Wembley Arena in a stay-busy bout against Miroslav Serban (10-2, 5 KO) on the Dubois-Lartey card, which will stream live on ESPN+.

1045085934.jpg - Hooker: Can Catterall handle my power?Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Catterall has expressed confidence about a potential matchup with Hooker, but Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KO) doesn’t know if Catterall can stand up to his power.

“A lot of people think (they can beat me) until they get in the ring with me, then they see otherwise,” he said. “I’d just box him and use my jab. I’d be ready for whatever he brings to the table, but can he handle my power?”

The titleholder is confident that we’ll see that fight in 2019.

“It’s gonna happen this year, sometime in November or December,” he said. “I’ll be ready for him. I hope he’s ready. It don’t matter to me (where it is), I’ll fight anywhere. Wherever he wants, we can go in his backyard, I’ll be there.”

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