Nick Ball eyeing first world title after being 'robbed' against Rey Vargas as Anfield dream clear

Nick Ball with his team following his win Isaac Dogboe
-Credit: (Image: (Alex Livesey/Getty Images))

In another world, Nick Ball would be in the final stages of preparing for his first defence as a world title holder.

However, the reality facing the Everton Red Triangle fighter is very different. Ball believes he should be a world champion, and so does his promoter, Frank Warren.

That is because Ball failed in his bid to become Britain's newest world champion back in March after his WBC featherweight title challenge against Rey Vargas ended in a controversial draw at the Kingdom Arena in Saudi Arabia.

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Giving up nearly half a foot in height and at least as much in reach, Ball faced an uphill battle from the opening bell in Riyadh, but he ended up dominating the second half of the fight, even forcing a standing count in the eighth round.

However, following scores of 114-112 for Vargas, 116-110 for Ball and 113-113, the fight was declared a draw, with the Mexican retaining his title. Ball was left devastated by the decision, believing he did enough to win the fight, while his promoter, Warren, was outraged by the result and immediately vented his disgust, claiming his fighter was 'robbed'.

But now, a couple of months on, Ball is preparing to return to the ring to take on Raymond Ford on the Queensbury vs Matchroom 5v5 card in Saudi tomorrow night, with the 25-year-old’s WBA featherweight title on the line.

And despite the disappointment of March still being fresh in the memory, Ball is very much looking forward and not back as he bids to become Liverpool’s newest world champion.

“You would be stupid if you thought otherwise, but that is in the past, and I am going to leave it where it is,” he tells the ECHO.

“I am not going to cry and complain about things, so I am fully focused on what is in front of me, and I have another world title opportunity, so I am focused on that.

“I have got to look at what is in front of me, not look back. I can’t look back too much because it is in the past. If you don't, then you are going to let it slip.

“It is the next level over here. I am made up to be a part of it, and it is a great experience and opportunity for me.

“But this just shows what hard work can do. If you keep putting in the work, you get out what you put in.

“It’s added pressure all the time. But it is what you do with the pressure. I’m good when the pressure is on. It brings the best out of me. I’m going to get what I deserve this time.”

But while Ball’s eyes are very much on the prize in front of him, the huge boyhood Liverpool supporter admits he would love to one day fight at Anfield.

He said: “It would be great. It would be unbelievable. Every boxer from Liverpool who supports Liverpool, that would be a dream.

“It hasn’t happened for many years, so to bring it back and do it again would be unbelievable.”