1989-09-11 Meldrick Taylor w pts 12 Courtney Hooper, Caesar’s Palace, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - IBF

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1989-09-11 Meldrick Taylor w pts 12 Courtney Hooper, Caesar’s Palace, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - IBF. Referee: Frank Cappuccino. Scorecards: 117-111, 118-110, 118-110. Having injured his left knee in March and following two operations, Taylor (140) was finally deemed to be fit to defend his title against Hooper (139½) and he was certainly given a tough workout by a worthy challenger. Switching back and forth from orthodox to southpaw, Hooper targeted Taylor’s body throughout, having fair success, and although the latter was obviously not happy with the treatment he was getting he still managed to outbox his rival, with some of his punches being almost a blur. Towards the end, Taylor began to come through with eye-catching combinations and in the final session he totally dominated the action with a storming finish that saw him land solid rights when Hooper went southpaw and throw flurries of blows from both hands through to the bell.