Vargas Retains WBC Featherweight Title in Controversial Draw Against Ball – Boxing Results

By Will Arons - 03/08/2024 - Comments

Rey Vargas (36-1-1, 22 KOs) held onto his WBC featherweight title with a questionable twelve-round draw against a highly motivated Nick Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs) on Friday night at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The scores were:

  • 114-112 Vargas
  • 116-110 Ball
  • 113-113

YouTube video

The 5’10” Vargas used his height and reach to control the fight against the shorter 5’2″ Ball through the first six rounds.

Realizing the situation was bleak, Ball turned to roughhouse tactics in the second half, using rabbit-rabbit punching, wrestling body throws, elbows, and quite a bit of holding & hitting.

In the eighth, Ball shoved Vargas hard, causing him to fall off balance. While he was off balance, Ball hit him with a shot to put him down. Interestingly, the referee Giovanni Poggi, who was pretty lax on his officiating job tonight, counted it as a knockdown. 

Vargas was discussed by the blown call by the referee and spit his mouthpiece out into the crowd after the round ended. On replay, it showed that Vargas had been thrown off balance, and the knockdown shouldn’t have counted.

In the tenth, Vargas hit Ball with a body shot that caused him to stagger and almost fall. He was clearly not ready for it. Ball dropped Vargas with a left hand in the 11th round, and this time, it appeared legit.

All in all, Ball got away with murder in terms of his fouling tonight and probably lost several points. The referee gave him a lot of leeway with his roughhouse tactics, and he was lucky.

Moving forward, Ball will have to change the way he fights because he can’t bend the rules repeatedly and expect all referees to allow him to do so like the one tonight.

YouTube video