Ford vs Ball Predictions: Brit Nick can take over the world

 | Thursday 30th May 2024, 10:54am

Thursday 30th May 2024, 10:54am

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Raymond Ford defends the WBA featherweight championship against Nick Ball at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this Saturday, June 1. The bout is part of the Queensberry vs Matchroon 5v5 tournament. DAZN PPV will screen the card.

Here are my Ford vs Ball predictions ahead of this exciting clash.

Ford vs Ball Tips

  • Ball by knockout @ 19/5
  • Ball to win @ 11/8

In boxing, the heavyweights naturally grab the headlines. Boxing’s banner division has ruled the historical framing of boxing, even if the sport’s finest practitioners have usually plied their trade in other divisions. Saturday’s card is no different. The knockout-ready appeal of Deontay Wilder vs Zhilei Zhang and the future-of-the-biz pull of Daniel Dubois vs Filip Hrgovic are obvious. 

But Ford vs Ball is probably the best fight, pound-for-pound, on the whole glitzy show. In terms of the fighter’s capabilities, their records and the narrative through-lines involved, this fight is the most fascinating bout on show in Riyadh.

Both men are undefeated, world-class competitors. In a wide-open division without a clear and accepted number one, either boxer could effectively fill that void. You have the added storyline of Ball looking to avenge his last fight. In March, the Brit knocked WBC featherweight kingpin Rey Vargas down twice but only got a draw for his troubles. Ball feels he won and is determined not to allow lightning to strike twice.

This is a proper action fight. Ford carries the hallmarks of a southpaw version of ‘Pretty Boy’ era Floyd Mayweather. Before he became ‘Money’ and swapped abandon for caution, Mayweather combined speed with power and aggression. Ford brings this to mind with his own quick, powerful bursts. He is guilty of occasionally taking too long to look at his opponent before figuring out attacks. But once the shots start flying, he usually gets the job done.


What Ford needs is an opponent who will attack him. Pressure makes diamonds and ‘Savage’ is often at his best when his opponent is throwing punches his way. That was certainly true when he dramatically stopped Otabek Kholmatov in the 12th round to win the WBA strap in March. The toughest fight of Ford’s career also ended up being his most memorable in terms of both significance and action.

Ball will certainly bring the best out of him. If Ford is too tentative, he will be punished by Liverpool’s pocket rocket. Ball packs a lot of power into his 5-foot-2 frame and, while he’ll be giving up four inches in height here, he may just be the stronger man. 

Squat and muscular, Ball uses his low centre of gravity to add purchase to his thudding shots. The Liverpudlian has cited Mike Tyson as an influence, taking pointers from another fighter who never let the size of his opponents dictate his own work. When the 27-year-old ducks low, it’s time to run. Because a half-second later, he will spring out of this stance and start throwing bombs.

Ford throws more when there’s something coming back. Ball never stops throwing. This fight has got shoot-out written all over it. I think it will ignite early and not let up for the duration. For that reason, I’m keen to back the fight to finish inside the distance at 13/8. The decision may be shorter-priced, but I just feel this tinder box is primed to explode. Once these two start throwing, someone isn’t hearing the final bell.

As for who will be left standing once the chaos unfolds, take your pick. The truth is, either of these men could end the fight with one well-timed blast. But I must say I’m leaning towards Ball. His explosiveness and unrelenting, swarming style is unlike anything Ford has had to contend with. The Brit has a great motor while ‘Savage’ likes to ration his energy. I just don’t think Ball will let him do that. I’m picking Ball to get the stoppage at 19/5.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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