Hooker, Gassiev likely to return July 27

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Hooker will make a title defense and Gassiev will be moving to heavyweight.

Junior welterweight titleholder Maurice Hooker and former cruiserweight titleholder Murat Gassiev look likely to return on a DAZN card on July 27, ESPN reports.

Hooker will be defending his WBO 140-pound belt in the main event against an opponent to be named. The 29-year-old Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KO) won the belt last June against Terry Flanagan in England, and has since defended twice, beating Alex Saucedo in Nov. 2018 and Mikkel LesPierre in March of this year. He had some trouble making weight for the LesPierre fight.

Hooker has recently been attached to a unification fight with WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez. Ramirez (24-0, 16 KO) is a Top Rank fighter, but previous reports said if that fight got done, it would be aired on DAZN, not ESPN.

864835480.jpg - Hooker, Gassiev likely to return July 27Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Gassiev (26-1, 19 KO) is going to move up to heavyweight, having recently signed a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing. He won the IBF cruiserweight title against Denis Lebedev in 2016, and unified that with the WBA title in 2018 by beating Yunier Dorticos in the World Boxing Super Series.

The 25-year-old Russian last fought in July 2018, where he was widely outpointed by Oleksandr Usyk in the WBSS tournament final, which gave Usyk all four major titles at the weight.

Probably worth noting that a couple of days ago, Tevin Farmer tweeted that he will also return on July 27. Farmer (29-4-1, 6 KO) has been ordered to defend his IBF super featherweight title against France’s Guillaume Frenois (46-1-1, 12 KO), a former European champion.

If all this goes down — Hooker-TBA, Gassiev-TBA, and Farmer-Frenois — it looks like a decent package show from Matchroom and DAZN, and it’d be a really good show if the main event is Hooker-Ramirez.

Showtime does have a card scheduled that same night, set to be headlined by WBA super featherweight titleholder Gervonta Davis, who will probably be facing his mandatory challenger, Ricardo Nunez.

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