Maurice Hooker relishes underdog role against Vergil Ortiz

With his 2021 debut just a few weeks away, Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker is fully locked in on his March 20 fight with fellow Dallas-area native Vergil Ortiz. While he grinds through an intense training camp in the Colorado cold, he and his team have added motivation for the bout.

Ortiz, a highly touted prospect, is widely viewed by pundits and oddsmakers alike as the favorite in the welterweight contest.

Hooker hears all the talk about the challenge he’s undertaking in his March 20 return to the ring but the doubters don’t discourage him. On the contrary, it motivates him. The former junior welterweight champion has heard similar talk before.

Those same voices questioned his chances before he journeyed overseas to fight Terry Flanagan in Manchester. Even after he upset Flanagan to win his first world title, the whispers returned ahead of his title defense against Alex Saucedo. In both cases, Hooker went in to his opponent’s hometown and pulled off the upset in victorious performances.

WBC Franchise boxer

“I love being the underdog. I feel like I’ve been the underdog my whole life, my whole boxing career,” Hooker said. “All the pressure is on him. He’s got to look good. I’m just going to go in there, stay relaxed, trust my team and do what I have to do.”

Hooker will return to the ring following a 15-month lay-off, the longest of his decade-long career but his second-longest ring absence resulted in his world title victory in 2018.

- Latest Vergil Ortiz Jr

- Latest Vergil Ortiz Jr

While he didn’t fight in 2020, Hooker worked with his talented team of Brian “Bo Mac” McIntyre, Red Spikes, Esau Dieguez, and strength and conditioning coach Jamie Belt to hone his craft during multiple training camps in Omaha and Colorado Springs.

“I am not worried about the layoff because I was in camp throughout most of last year preparing for a fight that fell through. So many of us are dealing with long layoffs now with COVID but since I stayed in camp with my team all last year, I will be good to go on March 20.”

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Ortiz Jr. vs. Hooker is a 12-round fight for the WBO International Welterweight Championship presented by Golden Boy. The battle for hometown supremacy will take place on March 20 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will be streamed live worldwide on DAZN.


2 thoughts on “Maurice Hooker relishes underdog role against Vergil Ortiz”

  1. Ortiz should demolish Hooker even doe He is a great talent but Ortiz relentless attack will overtake the action, discourage Him and come with a knockout victory.

  2. Ortiz should demolish Hooker even doe He is a great talent but Ortiz relentless attack will overtake the action, discourage Him and come with a knockout victory.

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