New WBA featherweight champion Nick Ball targeting rematch with WBC holder Rey Vargas

NICK BALL is aiming for a rematch with Rey Vargas after claiming his first world title last night (June 1).

The fighter from Liverpool defeated Raymond Ford from New Jersey by split decision (115-113, 115-113, 113-115) to become the WBA featherweight world champion and add another point for Queensberry in their 5 vs. 5 battle against Matchroom at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh. Ball’s triumph occurred just three months after a contentious draw with Vargas, also in Riyadh, where Vargas retained his WBC title in a fight that many believed Ball should have won.

While happy with his victory over Ford, the 27-year-old is determined to have a rematch with Vargas.

“I want my green and gold belt, that belongs to me,” Ball expressed to Boxing News after his victory.

“I need to fight for it, it’s mine, everyone knows that, so it’s time to really go for it and secure that fight, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Ball joins Britain’s recent WBA title holders after Leigh Wood’s two reigns between 2021 and 2023. The 126lbs division has been historically successful for British boxing and alongside Ball and Wood, previous British featherweight world champions have included Josh Warrington, Lee Selby, Paul Ingle, Naseem Hamed, Scott Harrison, Paul Hodkinson, Steve Robinson, Colin McMillan, and as far back as Howard Winstone in 1968.

With Ball’s win, Britain’s total of male world boxing champions now stands at four. Chris Billam-Smith (WBO cruiserweight), Lawrence Okolie (WBC bridgerweight), Anthony Cacace (IBF super-featherweight), and Nick Ball (WBA featherweight).

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