Nick Ball punched his way into title contention with his most significant win to date.
The unbeaten featherweight outhustled former WBO junior featherweight champion, Isaac Dogboe, to claim a 12-round, unanimous decision victory.
Judges Mark Lyson (119-108), Kevin Parker (118-109) and Kieran McCann (116-111) all ruled for Ball in their TNT Sports/ESPN+ televised WBC featherweight title eliminator on Saturday evening at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Ball took the fight directly to Dogboe and forced an aggressive pace early on the night. Dogboe maintained a tight guard and patience in lieu of getting caught up in an in-ring shootout with his younger, unbeaten foe.
The all-action approach had its drawbacks for Ball. The first moment came late in round two. Dogboe was out-boxed for much of the frame before he connected with a counter left hook.
Ball was briefly stunned but remained upright through the bell— as well as in between rounds, as he chose to stand in his corner in lieu of sitting on his stool.
Ball avoided a knockdown call late in round three. Dogboe turned his shoulder towards the onrushing Brit and attempted a left hook that landed on Ball’s shoulder. An ensuing exchange saw both fighters miss, and Ball fall to the canvas, which referee, Victor Loughlin, correctly ruled a slip.
Dogboe was not afforded the same courtesy on the other side of the bell to begin round four. Ball connected with a left hook, though a follow-up forearm shove forced Dogboe’s fall. Loughlin immediately issued a count without ordering Ball to a neutral corner, as Dogboe immediately protested the knockdown call.
Ball worked behind his jab in round five. He later caught Dogboe with a left hook on the inside behind a right hand that was blocked.
Dogboe momentarily lost his balance from a right hand early in round six. He quickly recovered and tightened up his high guard. Ball adjusted and landed to the body. Dogboe slipped a right hand and came back with a brief flurry upstairs.
Round eleven was all one-way traffic. Ball threw punches from all angles and split the high and tight guard of Dogboe, who walked forward but did not have it in him to let his hands go.
Dogboe desperately needed a knockout in the 12 and final round. The willingness was there as he targeted the body. Ball quickly adjusted and fired off a series of straight shots upstairs. Dogboe landed a right uppercut midway through the round but it was countered by a series of power shots. Dogboe later landed a right hand and a left hook to the body but it was not enough to avoid the scorecards or his second straight defeat.
The outcome saw Dogboe fall to 24-4 (15KOs). – Boxingscene