Exclusive: Maurice Hooker Talks Life As A World Champion, Getting To Fight On ESPN On November 16

One would think that winning a world title would be a life-changing event, but if you ask Maurice Hooker, that's not really the case.

Hooker, the current WBO junior welterweight champion, is living his life largely the same, only now he has the belt that recognizes him as one of the best in the world. But even being a world champion isn't enough for Hooker as he tells Fightful in an exclusive interview that he has goals beyond just winning a world title, which is unifying the 140-division.

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The journey to that goal starts on November 16 when he faces mandatory challenger Alex Saucedo. While Hooker wants to fight the other champions at junior welterweight, he knows that the task at hand is Saucedo and doesn't want to think about the future.

“I’m not looking past Alex Saucedo. I’m not even thinking about that. I just want to fight the best, but first I have to get passed Alex Saucedo,” Hooker said.

As far as his preparations for this fight is concerned, Hooker insists on keeping the same mindset and training the way he has always been training.  

“[My life] has been more or less the same [since winning the world title this summer]. I don’t feel like I’m a world champion until at least one defense. That will come November 16. I stay with the same mindset. I still want to be the best and I want to beat the best and I’m training to be the best. I know I’m a world champion, but there’s more belts out there to get. It’s not over yet,” Hooker said. 

Hooker won the world title back in June when he traveled to England to fight former lightweight champion Terry Flanagan. Although Hooker emerged victorious, the fight didn't attract a lot of attention from the United States, mainly due to lack of access of actually watching it. 

That won't be the case on November 16. Hooker's fight against Saucedo will headline a boxing card on ESPN and with a larger audience watching it, Hooker said this fight will be his first real showcase of his talents.

“Yeah, I feel like this is my debut, fighting on ESPN and having a lot of people watching. I’m just going to go out there and do my best and beat Alex Saucedo,” Hooker said. 

The card, which will take place from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will also feature a welterweight title eliminator between Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Roberto Arriaza.

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