Hooker vs. Ramirez Pick & Betting Preview

Maurice Hooker and Jose Ramirez prepare for unification battle
Oddschecker Staff
Fri, July 26, 10:14 AM EDT

There's a highly promising light-welterweight title unification coming up this weekend as Maurice Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KOs) and Jose Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs) collide in Arlington, Texas. It's the College Park Center that will play host to this intriguing match-up between WBO champion Hooker and WBC titleholder Ramirez, with both men set to put their unbeaten records on the line on American soil.

Live on DAZN for US fans, this fight has gone somewhat under the radar in recent weeks, with Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman having recently captured the majority of the boxing headlines from their entertaining clash.

During a week in which the sport has tragically lost two brave fighters from injuries sustained in the ring, with both Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan having sadly passed away, it's more relevant than ever to realize the risks these warriors take when climbing through the ropes to trade punches. Those two will no doubt be commemorated across proceedings during the fight cards taking place, including in Texas, where Hooker and Ramirez are scheduled to contest for supremacy at 140lbs.

This will be Hooker's third defense of the WBO crown, which he picked up back in June last year when he overcame England's Terry Flanagan in 12 rounds. This will also mark the first time he has arrived back on home territory since gaining world honors, following on from those successful defenses against Alex Saucedo and Mikkel LesPierre.

The Dallas native will take to the ring as the slight +115 outsider to prevail once again and add the WBC strap to his collection in front of his home supporters. Meanwhile, California native Ramirez enters on the back of two titles defenses of his own after beating both Antonio Orozco and Jose Zepeda. Those impressive wins came after he clinched the vacant WBC belt when he unanimously outpointed Amir Iman in New York last March.

The 26-year-old is regarded as the narrow -135 favorite to come out on top in this exciting unification meeting and maintain his undefeated professional record. It will be the Californian that is heading into the lion's den for the biggest bout of his career to date when the two men square off, with Hooker perhaps holding more of the pressure in front of his own supporters in his home native city.

The extremely close odds show just exactly how tight this encounter could be, and the two fighters will hold a nice clash of styles to make it another entertaining affair. Hooker has a genuine boost here in terms of his massive size advantage and an eight-inch reach edge but it may not be as beneficial as expected, as he typically opts to stand and trade on the inside anyway. That approach may not work too well against someone as efficient and relentless as Ramirez in close quarters.

Ramirez has somewhat of a wild style and will no doubt try to bring the fight to the fellow titleholder this weekend, wasting no time in letting his hands go with powerful combinations and working to the body to slow his opponents down.

If Hooker decides to use his physical attributes properly and keep a safe distance throughout this clash then he could be in with a chance of shutting down Ramirez and nullifying his key traits. But he's unlikely of changing his style now after so long and that could play into the WBC ruler's hands on Saturday night.

The WBC titleholder does possess legit punching power, despite holding no stoppage successes so far during his reign as champion, and he could find Hooker with that devastating liver shot he has become renowned for. If Hooker opts to stay in the pocket this weekend and get involved in a brawl with the tough and durable Ramirez then he may be in for a rough night in front of his home crowd.

1u - Back Ramirez via Decision @ +130

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