AUSTRALIAN light-heavyweight Damien Hooper made a seamless progression into the pro ranks in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Hatton Promotions prospect, a 2012 London Olympian and 2010 Youth Olympics gold medallist, dominated the experienced Garth Murray from the start, landing sharp jabs followed up by crisp right hands.
The fusillade continued into the fifth round, and with Murray visibly wilting, referee Steve Marshall stepped in to stop the fight.
“Damien looked absolutely sensational. He proved he’s an incredible talent against an experienced professional,” said co-manager Matt Clark.
“He hit Garth Murray with some brutal shots and he certainly impressed.”
On the same bill, fellow former Olympian Cameron Hammond took his professional slate to 2-0 (1 KO) when he easily outpointed tough Kiwi Daniel Roy Maxwell over six rounds.
Prior to the fight, the 23-year-old said he wanted to impress the onlooking Ricky Hatton and he certainly managed that.
Hammond fired off fast combinations and hurt Maxwell several times with right hands, but the visitor was brave and kept fighting until the final bell. All three judges scored the contest 60-54.
“Cameron boxed well, won every round in convincing fashion and displayed excellent hand-speed,” Clark said.
“He learned a lot in going the six rounds and will be better for the experience.”