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Is Maurice Hooker next in line for Conor Benn?

Conor Benn (right) versus Adrian Granados. Photo by Mark Robinson/ Matchroom Boxing
19
Jan

A former titlist has emerged as a potential opponent for a rising star.

Eddie Hearn, who promotes unbeaten welterweight contender Conor Benn, is considering making a fight between his pupil and Maurice Hooker.

The head of Matchroom Boxing also named former beltholders Adrien Broner and Robert Guerrero as possible candidates for the United Kingdom’s Benn (20-0, 13 knockouts), 25, who is coming off the most electrifying performance of his young career back in December, when he scored a brutal fourth-round destruction of former junior welterweight beltholder Chris Algieri.

However Hearn admitted that while he is intrigued by those fights, promotional blockades will likely force them to pursue Hooker.



“[I’d prefer Benn to fight] any of them,” he told Pro Boxing Fans. “Adrien Broner does want a comeback fight first and then he talks about fighting Conor Benn. Guerrero is with PBC [Premier Boxing Champions], who don’t seem to want to send fighters into big fights with us.”

Conor Benn (left) ices Chris Algieri (Photo by Mark Robinson/ Matchroom Boxing)

Conor Benn (left) ices Chris Algieri (Photo by Mark Robinson/ Matchroom Boxing)

The 32-year-old Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) is a former 140-pound titlist but has been stopped in two of his last three fights. The Dallas native was attempting the third defense of the WBO title when he stepped up to face Jose Ramirez in a July 2019 unification. The fight was closely contested until the Mexican blitzed Hooker in the sixth round and forced Mark Nelson to call a halt to the fight.

Following a move to welterweight, Hooker picked up a first-round TKO over Uriel Perez before facing undefeated knockout artist Vergil Ortiz Jr. in an all-Dallas showdown, last March. After getting dropped by a barrage in the sixth, Hooker went down again in Round 7 after breaking his hand and the fight was waved off.

Hearn has his eyes set on Hooker, who he believes will serve as a solid step-up for Benn despite his recent history.

“And Hooker is a fighter and he’s a very good fighter. It’s a very, very tough fight. He had a great fight with Ortiz last time out, got stopped with a hand injury. If he wants it and the team wants it, very happy to make that fight in London.”

Benn, who has won four of his six fights via stoppage, is The Ring’s No.9-ranked 147-pounder.

 

 

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