Maurice Hooker vs. Alex Saucedo Set For ESPN Main Event In November

The first title defense for WBO junior welterweight champion Maurice Hooker has been announced. 

Top Rank Boxing announced that Hooker will defend his title against mandatory challenger Alex Saucedo in the main event of an upcoming Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card. That card will take place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on November 16. In a press release, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said he is excited to see the fight and that Saucedo, who resides in Oklahoma, will have a home crowd advantage for this fight.

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“Alex Saucedo is a tremendous, world-class fighter. Maurice Hooker is a worthy champion, but Alex will have the home crowd on his side in what promises to be an incredible atmosphere. Oklahoma City loves Alex, and the arena is going to be packed to the rafters to watch him make history. This fight will attract thousands to the Chesapeake Energy Arena,” Arum said. 

The WBO originally ordered a purse bid for the fight as Matchroom Boxing, who wanted to have the fight take place on the DAZN streaming service, and Top Rank Boxing were at odds in regards to who would broadcast the fight. Top Rank eventually won the purse bid, giving the company the promotional rights to handle the fight.

Hooker won the title earlier this year when he defeated former lightweight world champion Terry Flanagan in Manchester earlier this year. The title was vacant at the time as Terence Crawford, the previous titleholder, vacated the belt, as well as the WBA, WBC and IBF titles. 

Saucedo will be returning to the Chesapeake Energy Arena for the second straight fight. In his last fight, which was also televised on ESPN, Saucedo defeated Lenny Zappavigna in a "Fight of the Year" contender on the undercard of Gilberto Ramirez's latest WBO super middleweight title defense against Roamer Angulo. This will be Saucedo's first attempt at winning a world title.

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