Raymond Ford Captures WBA Featherweight Title with Dramatic KO of Otabek Kholmatov – Boxing Results

By Rob Smith - 03/03/2024 - Comments

Raymond Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs), not known for his power, came on late to knock out the formerly unbeaten Otabek Kholmatov (12-1, 11 KOs) in the twelfth round to win the vacant WBA featherweight title on Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Kholmatov was head on two of the scorecards 106-103 and 105-104 on the third and looked to be in the driver’s seat going into the twelfth after cutting Ford under his right eye in the eleventh.

YouTube video

A Knockout for the Ages

The 25-year-old Khomatov may have punched himself in that round, as hie had nothing left when he came out for the twelfth round. Ford took advantage of Khomatov’s empty gas tank by hurting him with a shot that took everything out of him.

The referee Charlie Fitch then jumped in and stopped the fight after Khomatov staggered against the ropes. The time of the stoppage was at 2:53 on the twelfth. It was a good enough fight for a rematch, but there won’t be one, unfortunately.

Ford announced after the fight that this was thie last time he would compete at 126, and would be moving up to 130 to begin campaigning at super featherweight. He took a lot of punishment in the fight, and it’ll be interesting to see how he does at in the next weight division against the big punchers like Joe Cordina.

Fans Get Their Money’s Worth

The fight was every bit as good as boxing fans had expected it to be, with both guys landing huge shots. Kholmatov outworked the 25-year-old Ford in most of the rounds, but was hurt in the eighth round and looked fatigued down the stretch.

In the twelve round, Kholmatov started moving, looking weary. Sensing that he was gassed, Ford went after him and hurt him with a right hand to the head, causing his legs to wobble and turn to jelly. The fight was arguably stopped a bit early by the referee Fitch.

In co-feature bout, IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez (30-2, 17 KOs) beat Reiya Abe (25-4-1, 10 KOs) by a eighth round TKO. Lopez flurried on Abe at the start of the eighth, resulting in the referee stopping the fight at 39 seconds of the round.