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Maurice Hooker moving to welterweight division

The former 140-pound titleholder will try his luck at 147.

Maurice Hooker v Alex Saucedo Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Following the first loss of his professional career on July 27 in a war with Jose Ramirez, former WBO junior welterweight titleholder Maurice Hooker will be moving up to the welterweight division.

Hooker (26-1-3, 17 KO) also had trouble making weight for his successful March 9 title defense against Mikkel LesPierre, and feels it’s clearly time to head up to 147.

“I feel my last couple of performances in the ring have been impacted by the 140-pound weight limit,” said Hooker. “I want to give my fans the best possible performances and therefore after careful deliberations with my manager and promoter, I have decided to move up to the 147-pound limit.

“I know I’ll be much stronger and closer to my natural weight and I’m looking forward to joining the talented welterweight division and feel very good about my future continuing my boxing career as a welterweight.”

Hooker’s two promoters, Dino Duva of Roc Nation and Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, are looking forward to seeing him move up, and Duva says he should be back by the end of 2019.

“Maurice has thrilled boxing fans for the past year as the world junior welterweight champion, but now is the right time for him to make this move to welterweight,” said Duva. “He’s 6’1” and 30 years old, so it has been a struggle to continuously make 140 pounds. There are many exciting matchups for him at 147 pounds, and he will be much stronger and more comfortable at this weight. Maurice will have his first fight back before end of year, most likely in December. After that, we will aim high for matchups with the big boys like Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence. Watch out, because Mighty Mo is coming for the 147-pound division!”

“Maurice has had a great run at 140 pounds and now it’s time for a new chapter in one of the most glamorous divisions in the sport,” said Hearn. “I really believe this extra weight will suit him so well and we look forward to his return later this year and seeing him in huge fights in the welterweight division in 2020.”

How do you think Hooker will do in the move up to 147?