Rey Vargas And Nick Ball Fight To A Controversial Draw

By James Slater - 03/08/2024 - Comments

Talk about a fight of two halves. Tonight in Riyadh, in the WBC featherweight title fight between defending champ Rey Vargas and unbeaten challenger Nick Ball, we didn’t see ‘Knockout Chaos,’ we instead saw a fight that went to the cards and may well prove to go down as one of the most controversial decisions of the year.

Mexican tall guy Vargas held onto his belt via the scores of 114-112, 113-113, with Ball getting the nod on the third card at 116-110. Vargas is now 36-1-2(22). Ball is now 19-0-1(11). I had it 114-112 for Ball.

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It was pretty much all Vargas in the first half of the fight, with the older and much taller man jabbing Ball in the face, with Vargas also doing a lot of body work, this quite the surprise as most felt the diminutive Ball would be the man attacking the midsection.

Ball was unable to get inside and go to work, with Vargas looking sharp, fast, and in turn both aggressive and elusive. Ball was seemingly showing some signs of frustration, while Vargas made a lot of any rough stuff Ball showed; the Mexican going down to the canvas many times tonight, with Vargas looking to the referee.

The fight changed in round seven, this when Ball caught Vargas with a big right hand to the head. Ball wobbled the champion and at last the man from Liverpool was able to pour it on. Vargas was rocking on the ropes and he was forced to hold on.

Ball had a bigger round eight, with him scoring a knockdown. The two men spinning around as Vargas held on, Ball cracked Vargas with a left to the head that put him over. Suddenly, Ball, who never once showed any fatigue, his engine quite incredible, was right back in the fight.

And it was now pretty much all Ball. Vargas, tired and now looking like the man who was feeling frustration, fired in some good shots at times, his right to the body making Ball stumble in round 10, but Ball was wining the rounds on sheer aggression.

Ball dropped Vargas a second time in round 11, this with a right upstairs. Ball was still trying his best to get Vargas out of there in the final session, but down to the wire the fight went.

Ball was unhappy with the decision, naturally – as was Frank Warren, who said the WBC will order a rematch. Vargas said he will fight Ball “in his backyard” in a return.

In truth, today’s fight was no classic, with the action being messy at times, and with Vargas doing a lot of complaining and dropping to the canvas so many times. As such, a rematch will not exactly be looked forward to by fans. Still, the expected controversy today’s decision will likely generate will see to it that the rematch happens.

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