Raymond Ford Gears Up for Potential Nick Ball Clash

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 03/21/2024 - Comments

Newly crowned WBA Featherweight champion Raymond Ford is back in training for what could be his first title defense against Nick Ball. That’s the guy that promoter Eddie Hearn wants the unbeaten Ford to face next.

UK Appeal vs. US Disconnect

Ford vs. Ball would be a fight that would resonate in the UK with British fans but not with U.S. fans, who have no clue who Ball is and wouldn’t care to see the match. That fight is DOA with U.S. fans, who like to see real talent, not wrestling throws, other stuff that Ball uses.

American fans are more interested in seeing Ford fight IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez, as he’s well-known and arguably the most popular fighter at 126.

Lopez is a bad match-up for Ford, so it’s not surprising that Hearn isn’t eager to make that fight. Lopez would be a nightmare for Ford and likely end badly for the American.

Ball’s Fighting Style

Ford wants to return to featherweight for a final time to face Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs), who is coming off a 12-round draw against WBC champion Rey Vargas on March 8th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ball clearly should have lost that fight, but the referee failed to penalize him for his nonstop roughhouse tactics against Vargas.

In one instance, Ball threw Vargas off balance and then hit him, knocking him to the canvas. Surprisingly, the referee scored it as a knockdown for Ball. Vargas would have won the fight if the referee had made the right call.

It was that kind of fight with Ball getting away with repeated wrestling-like moves that arguably should have resulted in him losing four to six points and been disqualified. Obviously, if Ball fights like that against Ford, he’ll be DQ’d, especially if there’ a competent referee working.

Ford’s Own Shaky Win

Earlier this month, the 25-year-old Ford stopped Otabek Kholmatov in the 12th round in a come-from-behind victory in Verona, New York.

Ford would have surely lost the fight if not for Kholmatov fighting with an injured right knee. Still, even with the injury, the stoppage was questionable.

The unbeaten Matchroom-promoted Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) posted on social media, “Back to work. I’ve got some big fight news coming soon.”