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Boxing | International

Hooker stuns Flanagan to win title



Maurice Hooker earned a split points decision over Terry Flanagan to win the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) super-lightweight title on Saturday.

The American won his first world title to silence Englishman Flanagan's home crowd with scores of 115-113, 117-111 to Hooker and 117-111 to Flanagan at the Manchester Arena.

Flanagan, from Manchester, had to contend with gruesome cuts by his right eye and down his forehead from the seventh round while Hooker got better as the fight went on.

Flanagan, who gave up the WBO lightweight title after five defences, suffered his first defeat in 34 fights, while Hooker improved to 24 wins and three draws.

Flanagan, 28, was sharp despite a 14-month lay-off due to injuries and landed left hands in the second and third rounds.

Hooker, 28, from Dallas, made good use of his reach advantage in the fourth round before a clash of heads early in the seventh left Flanagan badly cut by his right eye and down his forehead.

Flanagan fought with more purpose afterwards but heads continued to bump in a messy fight that was hard to score, with Hooker having success with shots on the counter attack.



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