WBA featherweight champion Raymond Ford could be in for a tough time tonight against the aggressive pressure fighter Nick Ball in their 12-round fight on the ‘5 vs. 5’ event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Raymond Ford’s Concerning Appearance at Weigh-In

Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) looked like Skeletor last Friday at the weigh-in, appearing trained and skeletal. He made the 130-lb weight for his fight tonight against Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs).

The Camden, New Jersey native Ford looked like death warmed over at the weigh-in, and you could tell that he’d put himself through the wringer to get down to the featherweight limit.

Ford didn’t look like himself at the weigh-in, and you could tell that he’s not going to be 100% for the fight, given his appearance. It wouldn’t be as big a deal if Ford weren’t fighting a pressure fighter, but to go up against a fighter like Ball, he will be in for it tonight.

The 25-year-old Ford had wanted to vacate his WBA 126-lb title and move up super featherweight, but he was convinced to stay in the division when the opportunity for the sweet payday came up for him to make his first and likely his only defense of belt against Ball.

Ball’s Relentless Pressure Could Prove Decisive

“When you get to the sixth, seventh, and eighth round and Nick Ball is still in your face, I can see a similar type of fight that happened between Ball and [Rey] Vargas, where Vargas gets off to a good start. I can see Ford getting off to a good start. Then I can see Nick Ball overwhelming him and could even stop him in this fight,” said analyst Chris Mannix to DAZN Boxing, talking about tonight’s clash between WBA featherweight champion Raymond Ford and Nick Ball.

With the weight struggle that Ford had this week, he’ll likely be at his best in the early rounds, but as Mannix points out, he’s going to have major problems with Ball in the second half of the contents due to the pressure that is being put on him. Ball is a handful, and he’s going to be mugging Ford throughout the contest.

“I have questions that he’ll [Ford] be at his best at this weight class any longer,” said Mannix. “What worries me about this fight for Raymond Ford. Nick Ball is all-pressure all the time. You have got to be on it to keep Nick Ball from overwhelming you with offense.”

Ford mentioned this week that he wanted to move up to 130 after his fight last March, but he was offered the chance to fight on the ‘5 vs. 5’ card, so he chose to stay at 126 one last time. He had a lot of trouble in his clash against Otabek Kholmatov and would have lost that fight if not for the Uzbek fighter who suffered a knee injury.

Even then, Ford needed a twelfth round highly questionable knockout to win in their clash on the East Coast in Verona, New York.

“I think Raymond Ford has the skill set to do that, but I worry about his ability to do that at this weight,” said Mannix. “We both know that Ray Ford is not long for featherweight. In fact, if this opportunity didn’t come up in Saudi Arabia, I think Ray Ford’s next fight would come at 130 lbs. He has to kill himself to get down to 126.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve seen the dangers of a fighter staying at a weight for too long,” said Mannix.

YouTube video

Read the full article here