Jack Catterall takes ringside seat in America to get up close and personal with world champion Maurice Hooker

Jack Catterall is closing in on a world title shot. Picture: Getty Images
Jack Catterall is closing in on a world title shot. Picture: Getty Images

Jack Catterall is heading to America on business this weekend.

The Chorley boxing star will be ringside when WBO World super-lightweight champion Maurice Hooker defends his title against Mikkel Lespierre in Verona, New York on Saturday night.

Unbeaten Catterall, 23-0 with 12 knockouts on his record, is in line to face the winner.

The 25-year-old is the WBO’s No.1-ranked challenger and has held the governing body’s Inter-Continental title for the last four years.

He is looking forward to getting up close and personal with the champion when he heads across the pond.

“This is serious business,” said Catterall, last in action with a win over Ohara Davies in Leicester in October.

Maurice Hooker, left, goes head-to-head with Mikkel Lespierre ahead of their fight on Saturday night. Picture: Matchroom Boxing

Maurice Hooker, left, goes head-to-head with Mikkel Lespierre ahead of their fight on Saturday night. Picture: Matchroom Boxing

“It’s my job and all part of the work I do.

“I could’ve watched him, studied him from home and worked out how to beat him but this is better.

“As well as wanting to watch him up close and personal, I’m also there to let him know I mean business.

“I’m a gentleman and I’ll be respectful but it’s no secret I believe I’ve the beating of him.

Jack Catterall has been on a fine run with trainer Jamie Moore. Picture: Getty Images

Jack Catterall has been on a fine run with trainer Jamie Moore. Picture: Getty Images

“People will pick up on the fact I’m there but I’m there to watch him fight.

“I’ve no doubt it’ll spark that extra bit of interest from the fans.

“I haven’t bothered watching Lespierre. If he wins then obviously I’ll take notice but he suddenly appeared in the rankings and it doesn’t look like he’s done much to earn the shot, so I expect Hooker to pick up a good win.

“When I’m the one fighting him, it’ll be time for me to take over and start my reign at the top.”

Hooker, 25-0-3 with 17 knockouts, is best known to British fight fans for winning his title by outpointing home favourite Terry Flanagan in Manchester last June.

The Dallas native’s first defence saw him go on the road again to pick up a fine victory over Alex Saucedo in Oklahoma City in November, Hooker climbing off the canvas in the second round to stop Saucedo in the seventh.

‘Mighty Mo’ is now determined to prove he is the best 140lb fighter on the planet.

“It’s an open division and one I think I can take over,” Hooker said.

“There are a lot of good fighters in there making a name for themselves and a lot coming up.

“I’m a champion and I want to fight the best. I feel I am the best.

“My long arms, my chin, my skills and my hard work will put me on the top – I think that sets me apart.”