Hooker vs Saucedo : Friday night, ESPN presents a world title fight in the Junior Welterweight (140 lbs.) division when WBO champion Maurice Hooker takes on challenger Alex Saucedo. The fight is live from Oklahoma City this Friday, November 16, with a fight time of Midnight ET, and will air on ESPN, or in a live stream on the ESPN app. Here is a preview of the action.
Hooker claimed the WBO title in his last fight with an upset win over Terry Flanagan in what was, at the time, Flanagan’s first loss. Hooker fought a very good fight in that one, using his size to control the more seasoned Flanagan and take a decision win. What’s interesting about Hooker is that a win over Flanagan is very impressive and deserves to earn him accolades (he’s now at #7 in the division according to Ring Magazine) but he doesn’t really have any other wins worth a mention. It’s not like he’s been fighting cans, but the Flanagan fight was a significant step up for him, and obviously, he showed that he was ready for it. Saucedo is also undefeated. Just like Hooker did against Flanagan, Saucedo is taking a big step up here, as none of his past fights would indicate he’s on the verge of becoming a world champion. Still, the facts that Hooker is far from proven, and that we still have not definitively seen Saucedo’s ceiling make this an intriguing battle.
For those interested, there will also be a stream of the undercard starting at 6:30 p.m. ET available on ESPN+. Here’ the line-up there:
Egidijus Kavaliauskas vs. Roberto Arriaza, 12 rounds, WBO welterweight eliminator
Cletus Seldin vs. Nelson Lara, 10 rounds, junior welterweights
Jonathan Guzman vs. Roberto Castaneda, 10 rounds, junior featherweights
Albert Bell vs. Carlos Padilla, eight rounds, lightweights
Trevor McCumby vs. Felipe Romero, eight rounds, light heavyweights
Tyler Howard vs. Isiah Seldon, eight rounds, middleweights
Aaron Morales vs. Francisco Lapizco, six rounds, bantamweights
Rasheen Brown vs. Sebastian Baltazar, four rounds, junior featherweights
Paul Kroll vs. Travis Conley, four rounds, welterweights
John Rincon vs. Emanuel Williams, four rounds, lightweights