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19 SEPTEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Fight Reports
 

Hooker Edges Out Flanagan To Become WBO Super Lightweight Champ


By Steve Bateson: Maurice Hooker defeated Terry Flanagan via 12 round split decision to win the vacant WBO Super Lightweight Championship in Manchester, England on Saturday.

 

Flanagan was bidding to become only the tenth Briton to win world championships at two different weight classes but Hooker denied him that, the American out-scrapping Flanagan and displaying fantastic counter punching.

 

Flanagan began the fight well, raiding in and out of range with excellent left jabs to the body. He was bouncing on his feet and scored an excellent left straight in the second but there were signs that Maurice Hooker was beginning to time his slashing right hand counter whenever the home fighter was trying to retreat.

 

The right hand from Hooker was becoming frequent in the third and then Flanagan’s feet began to slow, leaving him open to more and more counters. The visitor was now making the most of his huge reach advantage and although Flanagan was still having success he was eating more punches on the inside.

 

Flanagan began getting rough in the fifth and was warned for use of the head, his frustration growing as he was unable to get to grips with the southpaw stance of Hooker and he was now dropping rounds to the American off the right hand alone.

 

The fight caught fire in round seven as Flanagan seemed to hurt Hooker with a left hook. Moments later the two men clashed heads twice in quick succession that left Flanagan with a cut over his eye and a deep gash in his forehead that was leaking blood at an alarming rate. The impact of butts seem to bother Hooker, though, and Flanagan put the pressure on with flurries of hooks whilst his foe was on the ropes trying to cover up.

 

Hooker reached the end of the round and then began to regroup. Flanagan was looking a little desperate with his raids and was getting hit with counter rights time and again. Hooker didn’t have to go hell for leather, instead showing excellent movement to avoid the raids and then throw his right hand almost at will.

 

Hooker had a very strong ninth round just off his counter punch and then Flanagan threw caution to wind in the championship rounds as he sensed his history making night was slipping away from him.

 

They came out swinging in the eleventh, swapping hooks in close, but then Flanagan’s footwork slowed again and it allowed Hooker to box out of range and pot shot. Flanagan worked his way back into range toward the end of the round but it was looking a little desperate for him now entering the final stanza.

 

If anybody doubted Flanagan, however, he showed his warrior spirit in the twelfth as he came out swinging for the fences. He caught Hooker with tremendous hooks to head and body but the thirty second burst was over quickly and Hooker took over with one of his own. Both men were desperately tired at this point and finding another salvo hard to muster. There were a few more moments in the final minute, an excellent two punch combo from Flanagan the pick but it wasn’t enough to dent the American and swing the fight back in Flanagan’s favour.

 

The cut may have been the difference, however, the move to 140lbs has taken away the size advantage that Flanagan held at Lightweight and perhaps he needs a few fringe level world fights before he goes back in against the elite at his new weight class. He was outsmarted at times tonight by a talented American.

 

Scorecards read: 117-111 Flanagan (not sure what fight was being watched here), 115-113 & 117-111 (another poorly scored card) to Hooker




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