Undefeated featherweight prospect Nick Ball (13-0, 6KOs) will fight for the first time in a year when he joins teammates Jack McKinlay (2-0) and Brad Strand (4-0, 1KO) on a Black Flash Promotions event on July 30 at the Devonshire House Hotel in Liverpool.
Ball will face an opponent yet to be confirmed over six-rounds at super-featherweight.
It was 12 months ago, back on July 31, when Ball last appeared in a ring, on a Queensberry Promotions event, live on BT Sport, against 6-0 Londoner Jerome Campbell.
24-year-old Ball defeated Campbell 79-72 on points over eight rounds and gave his opponent a standing eight-count in the seventh stanza as a result of his unrelenting pressure.
The talented prospect will be back fighting for the eighth time in his home city of Liverpool, four years and one month on from his pro debut in June 2017.
He said of his 14th fight, “I haven’t heard nothing yet about my opponent, but I expect it will probably be someone tough who can give me a bit of a test.”
Ball, who trains at the Everton Red Triangle gym in Liverpool with head coach Paul Stevenson, said he feels encouraged that two of his gymmates will share the bill with him, “Yeah, it’s boss all of us being in the gym together because we’re all working towards the same date, so we’re all doing the same training together, working on the same things at the same time, and sparring at the same level of fitness.
“It’s always like that down our gym, anyway, it’s always boss there. Just looking forward to the fight date and doing what we always do.”
Despite the hiatus, Ball has continued training and working on his craft, and believes several improvements will be visible on the night, “Probably just more of me on show,” he said. “More skill, more speed, more aggression.”
And there’s due to be plenty of eyes watching on, he believes, “I think the fighters all got 100 tickets each, so there’ll be around 900 fans there, but I think it’s set to be some in and some out, so going to work like that.
“My ticket allocation just flew out, to be honest, because I think everyone is looking forward to getting back out again finally.”
With restrictions lifting fully just a few days before fight night, Ball is hopeful of receiving more fight dates soon, he optimistically said, “Hopefully, after this one, I should get a fight date off Frank [Warren], so that’ll be good.”
In preparation for his 14th fight, Ball has been sparring with Dave Coldwell’s featherweight charge Jordan Gill (26-1, 7KOs), who is a former Commonwealth champion and current WBA International featherweight titlist.
“I’ve just got back from sparring Jordan Gill in Rotherham, we did six rounds together,” he confirmed. “It was good, I’m happy with myself. He’s had a bit of experience, so it’s good to be sparring someone like that who is around my weight. That was actually our second spar and I think I’ll be going back again next week as well.”
The experience will be invaluable to Ball, who has been linked to title shots for some time now. Rival Reece Mould relinquished his English featherweight title in June, which is a belt that Ball has shown an interest in previously.
“I’d be interested in that vacant English belt,” he admitted. “But just anything really, I’m just here to fight whoever Paul puts in front of me – and Frank – but I don’t look past anything, so I’ll just a take it one fight at a time.”
The Friday fight night event on July 30 is suitably named ‘Back in Business’ and also features Ball’s teammates Jack McKinlay and Brad Strand, plus stablemate Carly Skelly (3-0-1), from nearby Litherland.
Former English super-flyweight champion Marcel Braithwaite (9-3) heads back to the ring for the first time since back-to-back defeats to world title contender Jay Harris and Britain’s newest world champion Sunny Edwards, who Braithwaite knocked down during their 2019 British title clash.
Mozambique-born Merseysider Dexter Makaza (1-0), a 27-year-old light-heavyweight from Liverpool, is also in action on the night; as are debutants Leon Willings from Widnes, and Rebecca Ainscough from Liverpool.
Tickets are £50 for ringside, and £35 for outer ring seats.
Under the guidance of head coach Paul Stevenson, Ball trains alongside fellow Queensberry signings, Andrew Cain and Brad Strand; as well as unbeaten welterweight talent, Jack McKinlay.
The century-old boxing club also has Olympian Peter McGrail training there, who has landed in the capital of Japan for the Tokyo Olympics.
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