Top Rank Wins Purse Bid For Maurice Hooker vs. Alex Saucedo

The ongoing battle between Top Rank and Matchroom Boxing for total control of the fight between Maurice Hooker and Alex Saucedo seems to have finally reached its conclusion.

The fight, for Hooker’s WBO junior welterweight title, had a purse bid in the WBO offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Top Rank, who promotes Saucedo, won the final bid. The winning bid, submitted by Top Rank, was $1.625 million to secure the fight, slightly more than Matchroom Boxing’s $1.555 million bid.

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With Top Rank winning the bid, the company now has complete control for the date, venue and network responsible for hosting the fight. Top Rank plans to have the fight take place on November 16 or 17 in Oklahoma City either on ESPN or ESPN+. The purse bid ends a cycle of failed negotiations that has taken weeks.

After it was initially reported by other news sites that Hooker would join the World Boxing Super Series once Hooker won the WBO title earlier this year, Fightful reported that Hooker was in actually negotiating a fight deal with Saucedo, the mandatory challenger to Hooker’s title. Hooker won the then-vacant title back in June in Manchester, England when he defeated Terry Flanagan by split decision.

Saucedo cemented his position as the top 140-pound contender in the WBO rankings on June 30 in Oklahoma City on a Top Rank card headlined by Gilberto Ramirez’s latest WBO super middleweight title defense. In an action-packed potential “Fight of the Year” candidate, Saucedo defeated Lenny Zappavigna with a TKO in the seventh-round.

Matchroom Boxing signed Hooker to have him fight on the DAZN platform, even going as far as unveiling him as a premier fighter in a press conference several weeks ago, hoping that the title defense against Saucedo would be on the streaming service set to be released in the U.S. in September.

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