Nick Ball Could Challenge Ray Ford In June, But Style Shift Needed

Promoter Frank Warren states that the featherweight contender Nick Ball could return to the ring in June to fight newly crowned WBA 126-lb champion Raymond Ford for his title.

Warren believes that would be a winnable one for Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs), who came up empty last Friday night in his challenge of WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The fight was scored a draw. Nick Ball looked like a WWE wrestler, with body slams, headlocks, and rough stuff that he utilized effectively against Rey Vargas.

It was picture-perfect wrestling stuff from Ball, and yeah, he probably should have been penalized repeatedly, but the referee was playing it loose and allowed him to have at it.

The wrestling stuff was nice, giving the fight a crossover appeal, but also quite off-putting, given the tactics Ball got away with all night.

Vargas Rematch Stalled, Ford Option Emerges

“He [Ball] should be the champion. Apparently, they [WBC] had an interim title, and they want the interim champion to fight Vargar,” said promoter Frank Warren to iFL TV when asked about the possibilities of Nick Ball facing WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas in an immediate rematch next.

“We’ll work hard to get [Ball] back in the ring in June. Hopefully, it’ll be a rematch or if not, another version of the title. We got a couple of shows in June, so we have to look in which direction we go in,” said Warren.

Ball was fortunate not to lose to Vargas, considering he was given credit for what many felt was a bogus knockdown in the eighth round when he shoved the champion off balance, then hit him while he was trying to regain his footing. It looked like a bad call by the referee.

Moreover, Ball used a lot of roughhouse tactics that could have resulted in multiple-point deductions. There were so many instances in the fight where a different referee might have taken points away from Ball.

Ball Needs to Change Style

When you add all that up, Ball was very, very lucky not to lose that fight. Moving forward, Ball must change the way he fights because the rough way anything goes, the wrestling style that he uses won’t work long term.

Quality referees will police those tactics, and he’ll lose too many points to defeat talented fighters like Ford, Luis Alberto Lopez, and Rafael Espinoza

Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) pulled off a miracle 12th round come from behind the knockout of a previously unbeaten Otabek Kholmatov (12-1, 11 KOs) on March 2nd in Verona, New York. Kholmatov suffered a knee injury around the eighth round, allowing Ford to capitalize on the problem.

In the 12th, Kholmatov’s injured knee could no longer support his leg, causing him to fall into the ropes.

The referee stopped the contest with seven seconds to go in the round to give Ford a knockout victory. It was a controversial stoppage because the referee should have allowed Kholmatov to turn around after his knee caused him to fall.

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