Jose Ramirez Beats Maurice Hooker, Unifies WBC, WBO 140-Pound Titles

Jose Ramirez is a unified world champion at 140 pounds.

In what was at times a wild brawl between him and Maurice Hooker, Ramirez scored a vicious flurry of punches to stop Hooker and unify the WBC and WBO titles. The fight took place in Arlington, Texas in the main event of a DAZN card.

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Both fighters traded shots back and forth throughout the fight though there was some controversy in the first round when Hooker went down on the canvas due to Ramirez stepping on his feet. Despite that being the case and no clear punch from Ramirez being the one that dropped Hooker, the referee still ruled it a knockdown. Ramirez then took the second round later and bullied Hooker on the inside and push a frantic pace that Hooker was unable to handle. 

After Hooker was able to fight his way back into the fight, Ramirez quickly took back control, especially in the fifth and sixth round. Once the sixth round hit, Ramirez finally broke down Hooker. Starting with a straight left that stunned him, Ramirez unleashed a series of hard shots that seriously hurt Hooker and forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.

The fight had been built up since late last year when Hooker successfully retained his WBO title against Alex Saucedo on ESPN. After the fight, Hooker invited Ramirez to come fight him in a unification on DAZN. A little more than half a year later and Ramirez accepted Hooker's challenge and beat him in his own backyard.

Ramirez has held the WBC title since March 2018 when he defeated Amir Imam at Madison Square Garden. Since then, Ramirez has made two defenses of the belt before the win against Hooker: a unanimous decision win over Antonio Orozco last September and a majority decision win over Jose Zepeda this past February.

Hooker's reign as the WBO champion ended after a run that started with a road win against Terry Flanagan last summer in the United Kingdom. After narrowly beating Flanagan and then stopping Saucedo, Hooker would go on to defend his title last March against Mikkel LesPierre in Verona, New York.

But this won't be the only 140-pound unification that will be taking place this year. The division's other two titleholders, WBA champion Regis Prograis and IBF champion Josh Taylor, will meet in the World Boxing Super Series finals later this year. The winner of that fight could potentially face Ramirez in a bout to crown the first undisputed junior welterweight champion since Terence Crawford did so in 2017 when he defeated Julius Indongo.

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