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Jose Carlos Ramirez knocks out Maurice Hooker in six to unify titles in classic battle

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Jose Carlos Ramirez 25-0 (17) added the WBO junior welterweight title to his WBC strap with a sixth-round stoppage of Maurice Hooker 26-1-3 (17) at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night.

In one of the front-runners for Fight of the Year, the 26-year-old Californian had Hooker, 29, on the canvas in the opening frame before hurting the Texan with a left hand in the sixth and finishing off the job with a flurry of punches. Referee Mark Nelson halted the contest at the 1:48 mark of the round.

Ramirez applied the pressure throughout the fight, stalking Hooker and landing hard shots to the body. Hooker had some success boxing from a distance and the judges’ scorecards of 47-47, 49-45 and 48-47, both for Ramirez, indicate how competitive the fight was up until the stoppage.

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“He landed good shots but they were on my forehead, not the right placement,” said Ramirez after the fight. “But he didn’t land his best right hand. I had to be very careful in there.

“I felt confidence in my skills. I believed in my team, I’m the unified champion of the world. I am very blessed.

“I went back to my fundamentals. Working my jab, and I was closing the distance. Then when I got in range, I gave him that one-two jab that just works so well for me.”

Ramirez is now expected to face the winner of the final of the World Boxing Super Series scheduled to take place later this year between WBA boss Regis Prograis and IBF kingpin Josh Taylor.

“I signed up to fight against the top fighters. Me and Hooker stepped up to make this happen. They have to do it because it is a tournament,” Ramirez said.

Hooker took his first professional loss on the chin.

“I lost my focus for a split-second. You can’t do that against a world-class fighter like Ramirez,” Hooker said, before suggesting he might move up in weight to 147-pounds.

“I’ll have to sit down and discuss that with my team,” he said.

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