Nick Ball (20-0-1, 11 KOs) is targeting a rematch with WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas to relieve him of his green and gold title following his twelve-round split decision victory over WBA 126-lb champion Raymond Ford (15-1-1, 8 KOs) last Saturday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ball, 27, impressed the judges with his pressure and combination punching to defeat the previously unbeaten Ford by the scores of 115-113, 115-113 for Ball, and 115-113 for Ford.

Rematch with Rey Vargas in Sight

Last March, Ball fought to a twelve-round draw against WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas (36-1-1, 22 KOs) at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh. Ball got a bad start in that fight but came on in the second half to dominate Vargas.

If Ball can’t get a fight against Vargas, there’s always the potential of a clash against Japanese star Naoya Inoue if he chooses to move up to 126.

A super fight between Inoue and Ball would be a much better clash than the matches the Japanese star has been taking at 122 against nondescript opposition in the super bantamweight division, which is largely ignored by mainstream boxing fans.

It would take some convincing to get Inoue to agree to move up to 126 to face Ball, as the Japanese star has seemed content to fight at 122 against the beatable opposition in that weight class. Going up to 126 and potentially leaving his home turf in Japan to fight in Saudi Arabia would require courage on Inoue’s part.

He might lose, and that would be a big comedown for ‘Monster’ Inoue, but it’s bound to happen anyway. He’s getting older, and sharks are already coming after him. Gervonta Davis has repeatedly called Inoue out.

Ball’s Confidence and Desire for a Rematch

“I feel over the moon. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I literally just got out of the ring, and all the cameras are on me,” said Nick Ball to iFL TV when asked about his twelve-round split decision win over WBA featherweight champion Raymond Ford last Saturday night in Riyadh.

“I’m the champ now, so it’s all paid off in the end. It was a tough fight. Ray is obviously a good boxer, as everyone knows. It was going to take someone special to beat me tonight. I just had a good feeling about it.”

Ford blew his chance of winning by choosing to box, hold, and retreat throughout the fight. He needed to be more offensive to match what Ball was doing, but he wouldn’t do it. When Ford did go the attack, he looked good, bloodying Ball’s nose in the seventh.

“The whole week getting here. I think I said to myself earlier this week, ‘I’ve got a good feeling about it. It feels different,’” said Ball about the confidence he had that he would get the victory against Raymond Ford.

“But what happened last time standing there when they said, ‘Split decision,m’ you never know what can happen in boxing,” said Ball. “I definitely knew 100%, I was going to be world champion with the performance I put in.”

The 5’2″ Ball did not fight well against the 5’10” Vargas in the first half of their fight, and he couldn’t make up enough ground in the second half of the fight to get the victory. If there is a rematch, Ball will need to fight a lot harder in the first half if hie wants to get the win.

“I thought I was landing the cleaner punches. Most of his was on the gloves,” said Ball about his fight against Ford. “Obviously, he caught me with some good shots. It’s boxing. You’re going to get caught. The one that was putting pressure on was me. I was forcing it. So, that makes it me who deserves it the most.”

Ball was throwing combination shots and connecting with a lot of uppercuts to the chin of Ford, especially in the first half. In the later rounds, Ball looked visibly fatigued, and his power and offensive output dropped off. That’s why Ford was able to come on and make the fight close. Ball finished in the twelfth to seal the victory.

“Yeah, I need that green and gold belt. That’s mine. So, I need to get that on my shoulder, 100%,” said Ball about wanting to fight a rematch against WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas so that he can defeat him and take his title.

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