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Maurice Hooker Gets Dropped, Hurts Hand, Loses To Vergil Ortiz Jr. Via Stoppage In The Seventh

By: Hans Themistode

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Despite the countless number of bodies that were piling up at the feet of Vergil Ortiz Jr., the questions remained. The hard-hitting welterweight contender needed a signature name on his resume. Someone that would allow him to point and shout that he is in fact the real deal.

With a win over former Jr welterweight champion Maurice Hooker, Ortiz Jr. (17-0, 17 KOs) got exactly what he was looking for.

Oscar De La Hoya, promoter of Ortiz Jr., believed that his fighter would need to be patient early on. Those words, however, didn’t reverberate in the mind of Ortiz Jr. as he immediately went after his man.

While Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) is known for enjoying a back and forth brawl, he stuck behind his jab and attempted to simply outbox his man. The high guard of Ortiz Jr. proved more or less to be the best defense against the consistent jab of Hooker.

The boxing tactics of Hooker eventually fell by the wayside as he opted to fight fire with fire. He met Ortiz Jr. in the center of the ring and fought him on the inside. A sharp left hand landed near the end of the third which appeared to get the attention of the young knockout artist.

But while Hooker’s success could be described as marginal, Ortiz Jr. kept blasting away at this man. He found consistent success with his body attack. So much so, that Hooker was forced to pin his elbows to his midsection in an attempt to reduce the pain from the blows.

Although it may have allowed his body to rest, Hooker became an easy target for Ortiz Jr.’s shots to the head.

Not wanting to be a sitting duck, Hooker began moving even more. He attacked with his own assortment of body punches. The nonstop attack of the former champion saw middling results as Ortiz Jr. continued to push forward and land deleterious shots at will.

Just as Hooker began finding his rhythm at the halfway point, Ortiz Jr. found the shot he was looking for. A right hand, followed by a barrage of punches, sent the former titlist down to the mat. He appeared to be fine once he rose to his feet but things would change significantly in round seven.

With the fight moving to the middle of the ring, Hooker let off a combination and punctuated it with a right hand. He immediately screamed in agony and took a subsequent knee.

Left with no choice, referee Laurence Cole stepped in to call a halt to their contest.

Ortiz Jr. would later reveal that Hooker informed him that he broke his hand following the punch.

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