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

The Liverpudlian beat New Jersey’s Raymond Ford by split decision (115-113, 115-113, 113-115) to become WBA featherweight world champion and put another point on the board for Queensberry in their 5 vs. 5 battle against Matchroom at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh. Ball’s victory came just three months after a controversial draw with Vargas, also in Riyadh, who held onto his WBC title in a fight many believe Ball deserved to win.

While satisfied with the victory over Ford, it’s not enough for the 27-year-old who is keen to run it back with Vargas.

“I need my green and gold belt, that’s mine,” Ball told Boxing News after his win.

“I need that so I’m coming for that. That’s my belt, everyone knows that, so it’s time to really get it on the shoulder and get that fight, but we’ll see what happens.”

Ball becomes Britain’s second recent holder of the WBA title after Leigh Wood’s reign on two occasions between 2021 and 2023. The 126lbs division has been a rewarding one for British boxing over the years and in addition to Ball and Wood – previous featherweight world champions from the UK 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.

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


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