Maurice Hooker, Jose Ramirez feel the same way about their title unification fight

first_imgNEW YORK — Maurice Hooker walked across the seventh floor of The Renaissance Hotel in New York City on Saturday and gave a warm welcome to Jose Ramirez and his trainer Robert Garcia on sight. All three men flashed healthy grins.In a boxing world where negotiations between fighters under two different promotions often get contentious, this world super lightweight title unification bout, scheduled for July 27, came together rather smoothly for Hooker and Ramirez. And for that, the two champions are grateful. Join DAZN and watch Hooker vs. Ramirez on July 27″I was thankful of my promoters — Bob Arum, Top Rank, ESPN — because they know how important of a fighter I am to them,” Ramirez, the WBC titleholder, told Sporting News about his promoters allowing him to fight the Matchroom Boxing/Roc Nation Sports co-promoted Hooker at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, and live on DAZN. “For them to allow me to come to a different network and different promotional company to perform, at the end of the day, they made a big step to allow me to do that.”That was the only way this fight was going to be possible — if I came to his territory and his network. That was the only way the fight of this magnitude was going to take place.”Hooker took Ramirez’s feelings about the unification fight a step further, saying the highly anticipated bout was “easy to make.””Jose wanted to fight me, I wanted to fight him — we wanted to show everybody who’s best at 140 who’s not in the tournament,” Hooker, the WBO champ, offered to SN. “It was easy to make, not that hard.”Adding to their thrill is the fact that both Hooker and Ramirez fully realize what’s bubbling on the other side of the division, with WBA champion Regis Prograis and IBF titleholder Josh Taylor set to unify their titles in the World Boxing Super Series super lightweight final in September. That means the path to declaring an undisputed champion at 140 pounds in 2020 is looking clear as the New York City skyline was on this sunny day.That’s four undefeated champions of 30 and younger on the road to declaring one face, one name as the undisputed ruler. And for that, the present time for the super lightweight division sort of resembles the name of the hotel in which Hooker and Ramirez stood on this spring day — The Renaissance.”It’s very exciting,” Hooker said. “Now we’re going to see who’s the best at 140. The division is hot. We’re young, we’re in our prime, so it’s the best time to fight each other.”Ramirez added similar sentiments moments later.”I’m glad people are going to see who the best is at 140 at this time soon enough,” he said.When asked who they’d like to face if victorious next month, Hooker and Ramirez each cited Prograis, but for slightly different reasons.Hooker, a Dallas native, and Prograis, a Houston transplant from New Orleans, have exchanged trash talk in the past and know a mega fight would settle their budding interstate rivalry and for ultra-high stakes.”If Josh wins, it might be harder to make the fight, but I’m going for Regis just because he’s from the USA,” Hooker said. “I want to fight (Prograis), I want to knock his head off. I’m just going for him.”Ramirez added that he’d also like the opportunity to silence Prograis, whose confidence has been growing.“I’d say Regis Prograis, too, just because he’s really feeling himself with the publicity he’s getting from the tournament,” Ramirez said. “Which is good for him (because) I believe he never had it before in his career.”Of course, that’s looking way ahead of their own fight, which is just more than a month away.Both Hooker and Ramirez are coming off a big 2018, having had a chance to add a quality win to their respective ledgers early this year, as well.The 29-year-old Hooker (26-0, 17 KOs) scored a split-decision over British boxer Terry Flanagan in Manchester, England, to win the WBO strap last June. He then defended the title via a seventh-round TKO of Alex Saucedo in November and scored a unanimous decision victory over Mikkel LesPierre in March.Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs) earned the WBC title with a unanimous decision win over Amir Imam last March before defending the belt via a unanimous decision over Antonio Orozco in September and a majority decision against Jose Zepeda in February.That sets the scene for this impending title-unification bout, with both champions curious to see how this fight plays out July 27.”I’m excited to see how a fighter like Maurice Hooker is going to react to a fighter like myself, who’s an Olympian, who not just has the power and comes forward, but is very defensive as he’s coming forward and uses angles,” said Ramirez, who calls Avenal, Calif., home. “And all that comes from amateur experience.”That amateur experience includes a 2011 bout against the arguable pound-for-pound best Vasyl Lomachenko in a bout that Ramirez nearly won.“Fighters like that allowed me to better myself and learn a lot from,” Ramirez said.To that, Hooker feels like he has had invaluable experience sparring with the likes of welterweight world champions Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr., who are also considered by many to be the pound-for-pound best.“I held my own,” Hooker said of those experiences. “They didn’t push me around; I didn’t push them around. It was good sparring. It was better than some of the fights they had.”MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year Hooker vows to be equipped for Ramirez’s best ring work next month.“It’s going to be an action fight,” Hooker said. “May the best man win. I’m preparing, me and my team. We’ll be ready for anything he brings.”Getting one step closer to being crowned undisputed king at 140 should be all the motivation either fighter needs.last_img read more

Blue Angels to fly over Miami, and Jacksonville on Friday in honor of frontline workers

first_imgThe Blue Angels are coming to Florida!The Navy’s flight demonstration squadron has already flown over Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and other cities to honor health care workers and first responders.On Wednesday The Blue Angels announced that they will issue the routes and overhead times on Thursday.They are set to fly over Jacksonville and Miami on Friday.last_img

Try the Fun of Square Dancing for Free

first_imgFacebook5Tweet0Pin0By Amethyst and Susanna Mason for Olympia Area Square DancersAre you looking for something new to do this fall? Maybe, an extracurricular activity to entertain you during the bleak Washington winter months? The friendly Olympia Area Square Dancers at Lac-a-do Hall invite you to enjoy a Free Introduction to Square Dancing on September 6, starting at 6:30 p.m.Square dancing is a fun way to get in shape and stay in shape, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Within a two hour dance, we walk anywhere from three to five miles – although, it does not feel like exercise because you are having so much fun. Also, studies show that square dancing reduces stress, prevents dementia, and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.The dances and lessons are all family friendly, alcohol free and smoke free. They provide a broad scope of social interaction in a guaranteed safe environment, where you learn dance skills that you can take with you and perform anywhere in the world.There are only two requirements for potential dancers: You must be between the ages of ten and one-hundred and ten. You must be able to stand and walk for ten to fifteen minutes at a time.Please join us on Thursday, September 6th, at Lac-a-do Hall, 1721 46th Avenue NE in Olympia. If you enjoy this free introduction, you will be given the opportunity to participate in low priced lessons every Thursday for ten weeks to get you well on your way to becoming an accomplished square dancer. If Thursdays don’t work for you, we also offer Monday night lessons starting in October. It doesn’t matter whether you are single, a couple, or a family looking for a fun activity at a low cost, we would love to have you. For more information, call 360-438-1248 or visit the Olympia Square Dancers website.last_img read more

Workers at Chinese logging company return to work today

first_imgSeveral workers attached to a Chinese logging company, Ping Establishment, at Coomacka Mines, who downed tools on Friday last due to unfair treatment, have returned to work following the intervention of Region Ten Chairman Renis Morian and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock.Minister Sydney Allicock, Regional Chairman Renis Morian, and a Labour Officer in the meeting with the management of the company as they addressed a number of issuesThe protest several days ago saw residents of Coomacka seeking the urgent intervention of the Regional Chairman since they claimed that their rights were being trampled upon by the management of the company.Morian disclosed that he was invited by the residents who told him of several malpractices and as such, he sought to have the allegations investigated. He said that among the allegations made were workers working overtime without compensation, lack of safety gears, summary dismissals of workers who objected to this and other malpractices.The Regional Chairman, in a discussion with the owners of the company, stressed that the Government takes the security of tenure and workers safety very seriously.Workers at the company demonstrate that they are forced to work without any safety gearsAs such, he reinforced that the Regional Administration also sees workers’ rights and payments as very serious issues, and they won’t allow those to slip. In addition, a team comprising the Regional Chairman, Minister Allicock, and the Labour Officer met with the company during which the matter was amicably addressed.“We were able to come up with a number of solutions to the many issues that were facing workers and we are happy that the management of the Coomacka based company was receptive and willing to have the issues addressed. This resulted in the workers being satisfied with the decisions and subsequent actions of management,” the Regional Chairman stated.The Regional Chairman further stated that the workers are all expected to return to work today.last_img read more

Kurtenbach: Tua to the Raiders? It’s all setting up just right

first_imgAs I wrote earlier this week, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr should be playing for his job on Sunday.A competent organization treats Raiders-Titans as a referendum on the sixth-year quarterback.Because not only is the Raiders’ game against the Titans a de-facto play-in game for the postseason, on a more basic level, given the way Carr has played the last two games — given the way Carr has played the last three seasons — if he cannot beat Ryan Tannehill, at home, in a must-win game, then he’s …last_img read more

Atlas fires Profe Cruz after slow start

first_imgAtlas Atlas fires coach Jose “Profe” Cruz after slow start to Liga MX Clausura Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 01:08 1/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jose Profe Cruz Atlas Hector Guerrero Atlas Liga MX Pumas v Atlas The 50-year-old is no longer in charge of Los Zorros after a rough start to the tournament with the potential of relegation still looming Just two matches into the season, Atlas has decided it needs to go in a different direction.The Guadalajara club fired manager Jose Guadalupe Cruz on Monday night, electing to seek a new man in charge after losing its first two games of the Clausura.”The Atlas FC directors determined Monday to conclude the working relationship with el Profesor Jose Guadalupe Cruz, who arrived to the Rojinegros position in the Apertura 2016 tournament,” a club statement read. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Cruz took Los Zorros to back-to-back Liguillas in the previous two tournaments and both times saw his team eliminated by an eventual finalist at the quarterfinal stage. When taking November’s defeat to Monterrey into account, though, Atlas has lost its last five contests in all competitions. That includes two losses to start the season, a 2-1 home defeat against Club Leon and Sunday’s 3-1 loss against Pumas.There is not much room for error at Atlas. Despite fears subsiding somewhat thanks to an 11-point cushion over last-place Veracruz, the team still is in the fight against relegation. Missing out on the chance at more points in the Clausura not only increases the risk Atlas would get sent down but also puts it in a worse position in future tournaments, with Liga MX’s relegation system sending one team down based on the previous six short tournaments.”Our directors will begin formal conversations about the hiring of a new Rojinegro coach, staying with Gerardo Espinoza Ahumada as the interim coach of the first team,” the release read. Espinoza is a “homegrown Rojinegro who knows the club’s philosophy to perfection, who participated as the assistant coach of the first team in the Apertura 2016 and currently was working as coach of the Under-20 team.”Atlas is the first team to make a change during this tournament in a league infamous for in-season managerial switches. In the Apertura, seven of the 18 teams in Liga MX hired new managers.Espinoza first takes Atlas into Friday’s home match against Toluca at the Estadio Jalisco before the club resumes Copa MX play during the week.last_img read more

10 months ago​West Ham star Nasri: I cried for first time in my career

first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say ​West Ham star Nasri: I cried for first time in my careerby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham United star Samir Nasri has admitted that he cried when he thought that his career was over.Nasri was banned from football for 18 months for violating a drug policy, due to taking an intravenous drip for hydration.Now he is back in the Premier League and he cannot believe how things have turned around for him.”I’m a guy who, mentally, I’m really strong, but for maybe the first time in my life, I cried about my career because I thought it was over,” Nasri told West Ham’s official website.”I had some really tough moments when I was really down.”But now, coming back to the most competitive league in the world, with a team full of ambition with a manager that I know, and with a stadium like this… Man! It’s the best job in the world!”The competition, the dressing room, and to be back on the pitch, that’s what I was waiting for, for a whole year.”I’m looking forward to the next game, a derby against Arsenal so I’m sure the atmosphere will be even more crazy.” last_img read more

11 days agoLeicester goalkeeper Schmeichel proud to reach 50 caps with Denmark

first_imgLeicester goalkeeper Schmeichel proud to reach 50 caps with Denmarkby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is proud to have reached 50 caps with Denmark.Schmeichel produced a stunning performance on Saturday night to record a clean sheet on his 50th outing for his country, an appearance that saw him match Andy King as City’s most-capped player.The 32-year-old stopper made four high-class saves to keep Switzerland at bay, Yussuf Poulsen’s goal in the final 10 minutes sealing a 1-0 victory that boosts Denmark’s chances of reaching the Euro 2020 finals. “I don’t know if it was my best international match – but at least it was important,” Schmeichel said after the win.“It was a fantastic and really, really important victory. It wasn’t our best international match, but we fought and fought all the way through, and it’s incredibly important.“It was a big motivating factor that I was not involved in the national team earlier in my career, but I am grateful to be part of it now and it makes me proud to play 50 games for my country. Now I just hope for 50 more.“If I don’t last five years, then I will be disappointed.“You can’t plan for football. Anything can happen. You can get hurt tomorrow and not have the opportunity to come back, so you have to be grateful every time you are teamed up with the national team.“Every match I get to play in front of such a crowd, I am incredibly grateful for, because it happens so rarely. We must be proud of all the matches we can fight on the national team.”Asked if he’s improved over recent years, Schmeichel joked: “I always think I’ve been so good.“I don’t know if I’ve progressed so much. A goalkeeper’s game is very much about routine and about playing lots of matches. I have been doing this for a number of years and it has borne fruit.“I am also surrounded by good teammates and good coaches with the national team and at my club, where my strengths are utilised.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Urban Meyer Calls Out NJ Recruit For Not Making Eye Contact With Him

first_imgmeyer calls out campermeyer calls out camperWhen Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is speaking, you better have your eyes on him. Thursday, Meyer spoke briefly at a satellite camp in New Jersey, giving recruits advice on how to conduct themselves in front of coaches to impress them. Meyer wasn’t thrilled with one camper, who he claims was “looking all over the place” while he was talking.Here’s video, via NUC Sports. Meyer also pitcher his program, boasting about the team’s 50-4 record the past few years and its impressive NFL Draft. Meyer is one of the most respected coaches in the nation, so the players would be wise to listen.last_img read more