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Maurice Hope

Titles: WBC jr. middleweight champion 1977-1981
Record: 30-4-1 

Born: December 6, 1951 in Antigua, West Indies

Years active: 1973-1982

Nickname: None

Hope was a phsiycially strong boxer puncher who was such a good prospect 
that in his first seven years of boxing a third of his fights were for a 
title of some kind. Born on the Caribbean island of Antigua Hope said he 
always regarded England as "The country that made me", he was also lucky 
to come into the sport when the jr. middleweight division was first 
introduced as he could not loose the weight to make welterweight without 
draining himself and he was just not big enough to beat the middleweights 
This was the case when he challenged Bunny Sterling for British 
middleweight honors and Sterling could absorb the power shots of Hope who
was still learning the skills that would make him a champion. Hope won his 
first significant fight when he defeated Italian tough man Vito Antufermo 
via a 15 round TKO in the European jr. middleweights champions home town. 
The power of Hope proved to be the difference as he worn the Italian down 
with a great body attack. The dream of winning a world title was setback 
when he lost a very controversial decision to Eckhardt Dagge in Germany, 
most unbiased observers had Hope winning. It took two years for Hope to
get another title shot and he would face another Italian Rocky Mattioli. 
It was no contest as Hope floored the champion in the first round and 
ripped the title away in 8 one sided rounds. Hope defended the title five 
times over the next four years against the likes of Mike Baker, a rematch 
with Mattinoli and the very talented Argentine Carlos Herrera. It took the 
former child prodigy Wilfred Benitez to defeat him. The fight in Las Vegas 
was even going into the 10th round when Benitez knocked Hope down and 2
rounds later finished the champion off with a beautiful left hook leaving 
Hope unconscious for 4 minutes. It was the kind of fight that ruins 
careers, and after Hope lost his next fight by split decision to Luigi 
Minchello for the European jr. middleweight title he retired from the ring 
and never came back.