WBA Champ Raymond Ford Passes on Nick Ball Bout on 5v5

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 03/27/2024 - Comments

Newly crowned WBA featherweight champion Raymond Ford won’t be fighting Nick Ball on Matchroom’s 5v5 against Queensberry card on June 1st in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ball’s Brawling Antics Don’t Deserve a Title Shot

Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) won’t be fighting on the card against the British fighter Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs), who hardly deserves another title shot after coming up empty with his foul-filled WWE performance in his 12-round draw against WBC champion Rey Vargas on March 8th in Riyadh.

It was one of the fouling-est fights this writer has ever seen displayed by a fighter and not being given the hook for a DQ by the ref.

Many feel that, at the very least, Ball should have been disqualified for his roughhousing tactics, including body slamming and shoving. Ball was given credit for a knockdown in the eighth after pushing Vargas to get him off balance and then hitting him.

The referee shockingly scored it as a knockdown for Ball. Vargas would have won if he had not blown the call, but that was just one of many missed calls by that ref, who had a bad night at the office and was in the ring in body only.

Ford’s Got Better Things to Do

Rather than indulging Ball in a title shot he doesn’t rate, Ford will go in another direction. Given that Ford is an American and fans don’t care about him fighting obscure guys, he’d be better off focusing on a unification match against IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez.

That’s a fight that would interest U.S. fans, not one against Ball. No one would care about that. There’s a heck of a lot more for Ford to gain from fighting Luis Lopez in a unification fight at featherweight than defending against the little wrestler Ball and having to deal with his roughhouse tactics all night.

A Lucky Break for Ford

Ford is coming off a 12th-round miracle knockout against Otabek Kholmatov on March 2nd in a questionable stoppage. The ref stopped the fight with seven seconds left in the 12th round after Kholmatov lost his balance due to an injured right leg and fell up against the ropes.

Rather than stopping the action to let Kholmatov turn around, the referee surprisingly stopped the fight and gave Ford credit for a knockout.

Obviously, that was not the ideal way for Ford to win with a controversial stoppage, but he won the fight, and it saved him.

Had the referee not stopped the contest in the last seven second, Kholmatov would have won and the Eddie Hearn-promoted Ford would be out of luck.