Hooker: I’m better and smarter than Ramirez

Screen Shot 2019 06 11 at 4.42.54 AM 1 2 .0 - Hooker: I’m better and smarter than Ramirez

Maurice Hooker is confident ahead of his July 27 unification clash with Jose Ramirez.

Maurice Hooker is set to defend his WBO junior welterweight title in a unification with WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez on July 27, live on DAZN from Texas.

Hooker talks about the matchup with Ramirez, growing as a star in boxing, and more.

On getting a big fight in Texas

“I’m ready, I’m pumped up. I’m excited to tell you the truth. When I woke up this morning, I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ We’re getting close to this dream to show the world why I’m the best.”

On people still doubting him

“That’s what I love about it. They doubted me when I fought Alex Saucedo, they’re gonna doubt me this fight, they doubted me when I fought Terry Flanagan. I’m gonna keep proving them wrong, and they’re gonna keep paying. It motivates me. They pay to watch me lose but I end up winning. I love it.”

On what it means to finally get to this level

“It means everything. It’s a dream. We took the long way — the long, hard way. At one point I had no promoter. We got Roc Nation, now I’ve got Eddie Hearn. It’s a long road and it’s just the beginning. I’m gonna win this belt and keep winning. If I win all the belts at 140, let’s go to 147 and see what that’s about. My next fight could be 154. One step at a time. I’m not looking past Jose Ramirez. He’s a champion for a reason. He’s hungry, he can fight 12 rounds going hard. I’ve got to be ready and prepared. Nobody can beat 100 percent Maurice. As long as I’m ready and focused, I’m hard to beat.”

On people telling him not to work with Roc Nation or Eddie Hearn

“You’re gonna have haters whatever you do. They tell me not to do it and I do it anyway just to do it wrong. ‘Why you gonna sign with Eddie Hearn, he’s not even from the States?’ Why not? Are you gonna give me the check, are you gonna get me the big fights I need? Nah, so — Eddie Hearn’s a good guy, he’s cool, he loves boxing, knows a lot about boxing. Roc Nation, they’re good, too, they know a lot about boxing, they’ve got other sports. It’s my time to put Roc Nation back on after Andre Ward retired.”

On growing his star power

“It’s gonna grow big. Tell you the truth, I don’t care about being famous. I just want the belts, man. The belts bring the money. Belts first, it’s just a dream to win the belts. When we started out boxing, we never looked at the money, we never asked how much we were getting paid. The dream was the belt. Once the money gets in front of you, you’ve got a whole other problem. But my dream is the belts. The money’s gonna come.”

On wanting to let everyone know Errol Spence Jr isn’t the only champ in Dallas

“Somewhat. Everybody knows Errol Spence’s from Dallas. A couple people know my name. Everybody in the hood knows my name, but outside the hood they’re, like, ‘Maurice Who?’ Look me up!”

“Me and my coach seen a Japanese magazine with my name on it and an article about me in Japan. I couldn’t read it. Man, it’s a blessing. You’re, like, ‘Dang, I’m all over the world, I’m known.’ It’s a dream! It’s coming true. And it don’t stop here. It’s just the beginning.”

On how the fight with Ramirez will go

“It’s gonna start out tough. He’s hungry, he’s young, he’s coming. That’s him, typical Mexican style. I’m gonna outsmart him, make him miss, make him pay. Make him get scared to throw a punch, because if he misses, I’m gonna hurt him. I’m a better fighter than him, I’m much smarter than him in the ring. He’s just in shape, man, and he’s coming. It’s gonna be a hell of a fight, you don’t want to miss it.”

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