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Hooker remains confident although fights are coming slow

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months or so ago, I interviewed a nice young man named Maurice Hooker of Dallas who was in training for a boxing match which was just a week away. The fight, at the popular Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, never happened. Since then a few other fights that were arranged for Hooker also fell through. Hooker has a record of 2-0-1. He's not yet making a living off of his fighting and he really needs a few breaks to go his way.

His manager/trainer is a mythical - like tall 67 -year-old black man who goes by the name of Sultan Ali. I have talked to Ali and he is not the problem. He knows a lot about boxing and with a name like Sultan Ali you can bet he knows a lot about life.

After training each day, Ali teaches Hooker a life lesson or two over a meal at the next door Herrera's Cafe which shares the 4020 block of Maple Avenue off of Oaklawn right near downtown Dallas.

Ali is doing enough just to keep Hooker's mind occupied with positive thoughts as a boxing match is made and signed for Hooker without it being canceled for one reason or another and discouraging the 22 -year-old boxer.

Hooker has told me he wishes he hadn't turned professional yet because with only three pro fights on his resume he would have been better off staying as an amateur where he could have remained active because of regular amateur tournaments throughout the city, metroplex and state.

Hooker started boxing in 2005. He has over 90 amateur fights to his credit. His first fight was a draw against a fighter in St. Louis who had seven pro fights and a lot more experience. "It was a calculated risk but I thought it was worth taking," said the right-handed puncher.

"My last opponent pulled out the week of the fight and I had no chance to find another opponent on such short notice," said Hooker.

Hooker not only trains six days a week but also runs six miles a day. He fights at 140 pounds and never has a weight problem.

"Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Thomas Hearns are his favorite fighters and he likes to study them.

"I like to work off my jab and I'm more of a boxer than a slugger," says Hooker when discussing his style of boxing.

Boxing is certainly a rough business and I'm wishing Hooker lots of luck with his career path.

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