1979-09-25 Maurice Hope w rsc 7 (15) Mike Baker, The Arena, Wembley, London, England - WBC
1979-09-25 Maurice Hope w rsc 7 (15) Mike Baker, The Arena, Wembley, London, England - WBC. Referee: Raymond Baldeyrou. Making his first defence, Hope (153½) was far too good for Baker (152½), who had come from America with the reputation of possessing a big left hook, and was content for the first few rounds to just work his man over without going the whole hog. Hope didn’t really start to let the punches go until the fifth and it was clear that Baker couldn’t cope with the combined accuracy and power. Although Hope eased off in the sixth he came back with a vengeance in the seventh, driving Baker into a corner and blasting heavy shots in from both hands before a southpaw right hook sent the latter down. Getting up late in the count, Baker, to his credit, came right back at Hope, but, eventually, with punches from both hands raining in on him, the referee pulled the challenger out with 30 seconds of the session remaining.
Early in 1980 Hope received a detached retina while sparring and having undergone an operation to correct the damage it was announced in June that his second defence would be against Rocky Mattioli, the man he won the title from.