Jose Ramirez Unifies Belts with TKO over Maurice Hooker


By Robert Aaron Contreras

WBC, nay, unified junior welterweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez is the hottest fighter in the division following a thrilling Saturday night at the College Parker Center in Arlington, Texas, his opponent Maurice Hooker’s de-facto hometown. Ramirez snatched Hooker’s WBO belt with a knockout flurry in the sixth round.

Ramirez (25-0, 17 KO) showed no qualms about traveling from California to Texas. Nor did he when Hooker (26-1-3, 17 KO) nearly spun his head around with check hooks and jolting jabs. The newly-unified beltholder fought through his opponent’s reach advantage, working his patented one-two combination thoroughly and consistently until finally he found his moment to take out Hooker.

“I threw that one-two that works perfectly for me,” Ramirez said after the fight. “He landed some good shots. But real champions always have faith in themselves. I was here with one mission: to be the unified champion of the world.”

Ramirez looked every bit like a man on a mission to open the title tilt. The center of the ring immediately belonged to him and Hooker was soon stumbling backwards from quick flurries. Hooker did straighten out his lengthy jab. But Ramirez stepped on his foot that again caused the taller man lose his balance and hit the deck.

Referee Mark Nelson, at the merciless command of watching a fight in realtime with no replay, called a knockdown. Ramirez at least affirmed the round in his favor by closing the period slipping Hooker’s long arms and stuffing short, straight left hands into his opponent.

In Round 2, Ramirez tried jabbing his way in. But Hooker sat back, relying on his incredible size, and spearing elongated right hands through Ramirez’s guard and occasionally circling out and away to his left with check hooks.

The momentum though was again in Ramirez’s corner in the final minute when he finally pinned his man to the ropes. With Hooker’s back stuck there, Ramirez pressed his weight onto his championship counterpart for leverage and pitched overhand shots to the head.

Ramirez’s navigation looked a little different in the third stanza. Instead of driving forward, the WBC champ shot quick punches upstairs and sidestepped to either side of Hooker. The movement did not stop Hooker from stunning him with chopping right hands in the waning moments of the round… or the chippy punches that ensued after the bell.

Ramirez caught Hooker’s attention in the fourth frame: jab upstairs, left hook to the liver and right back upstairs with a left hook. From there the round reached its symposium of violence, more chippy action resulting in blistering, two-way action.

In Round 5, Hooker’s jab was as daunting as ever—his 80-inch reach longer than many standout heavyweights—but complimented the punch with interchanging checkmark-shaped uppercuts. Ramirez also found moments of success, chasing Hooker down, crashing punches into his man’s raised gloves. Not every punch landed cleanly but it was pouring on enough to prevent any return from Hooker, whose long arms became obsolete in close quarters.

But what a round it was, the crowd worked their way into the broadcast when Hooker turned his focus to Ramirez’s midsection.

Both men traded jabs in the fateful, sixth period. Less frenetic than the round before, the pace could not have lulled Hooker to sleep but the left hand that clipped him with under two minutes to go nearly did. Hooker was visibly hurt and Ramirez pounced with 10 unanswered shots. Referee Nelson had no choice but to call an end to the title fight as Hooker’s eyes basically rolled to the back of his head.

According to CompuBox, Ramirez landed 99 of 414 total punches (24 percent) and Hooker actually connected on 129 of 360 (36 percent).

DAZN correspondent Chris Mannix asked Ramirez if he had his eyes and heart on unifying even more belts when they become available following the proposed Regis Prograis vs. Josh Taylor WBSS finale.

“Of course, those are the top guys,” Ramirez answered. “I want to get all the titles—that’s my goal.”

Tevin Farmer def. Guillaume Frenois by unanimous decision

Farmer cruised to another successful title defense—and cruise is certainly the right word. He was extended the entire 12-round distance by his challenger Frenois, of France. And for the second time in a row the American world champion took the last couple rounds off. In the end the judges still awarded Farmer the fight on scores of 116-111, 116-111 and 119-108.

A big speed advantage was quickly realized by Farmer, leading Frenois around early on. Frenois opened up in the third. But the defending champion was back on top over the next couple rounds.

In Round 6, Farmer would be warned for a blow that strayed way below the belt. It could not have happened at a worst time for the challenger as it was Frenois’ best round so far. Another low blow occurred in the tenth period and referee Mark Calo-oy couldn’t let it go, deducting the American a point.

The foul did nothing to convince Farmer to close out the show emphatically. For in the final stages, Frenois clipped his man with multiple left hooks and conceivably stole the final three rounds. In the end, it did not matter.

A glance at CompuBox suggests the right man won. Farmer landed 167 of 636 total punches (26 percent) while Frenois connected on 75 of 425 total punches (18 percent).

In the post-fight interview, Farmer summed up his performance before eluding to why he let off the gas across the finish line.

“I came out here and did what I had to do,” Farmer said. “My hands are always messed up. I come in here and I win and I keep winning.

“I don’t care about the crowd,” Farmer continued as Frenois could be seen in the backdrop, propped up on the corner post to draw cheers from the Texas audience. “You going to love me or you going to hate me. My speed and my IQ won the fight,” Farmed concluded.

When asked of the possibility of unifying his belt with WBA belt holder Gervonta Davis, Farmer took the opportunity to set the record straight and express the plans he has in mind for his career.

“Eddie Hearn has sent [Davis] multiple offers,” Farmer said. “I want all the champions out there. But if I can’t make those fights, give me JoJo Diaz.”

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