Nick Ball steps up a level against Isaac Dogboe
Liverpool's Nick Ball (19-0, 11KO) looked every bit a world champion as he stepped up a level to dominate former world champ Isaac Dogboe (24-4, 15KO) at the AO Arena in manchester on November 18. Trained by Paul Stevenson at the Everton Red Triangle, the unbeaten 26-year-old is now mandatory challenger to WBC featherweight champ Rey Vargas, who hasn't won in 16 months.
Co-headlining the Queensberry card was Denzel Bentley (18-3-1, 15KO) and Nathan Heaney (18-0, 6KO), which saw the heavily supported Stoke fighter take the Lonsdale belt away from the defending champion on a majority decision.
Full results below:
Nick Ball vs Isaac Dogboe
Round 1: Both men are applying high guards so not much has landed despite the heavy volume from both.Ball that bit busier.
Round 2: Nick Ball had a great round with impressive volume but he's caught with a left hook right on the bell.
Round 3: Nick Ball is boxing superbly for the majority of the round but he gives Dogboe a chance right at the end as he almost goes over. On replay, it looks like he was off balance.
Round 4: A left hand from Ball drops Dogboe but he survives the round. Ball's output has got him in front.
Round 5: Ball is throwing punches relentlesly and although they're not all landing, they're allowing him to win rounds.
Round 6: Nick Ball can be pleased with his efforts at the halfway point. He won't Dogboe rest.
Round 7: Dogboe is being more aggressive and it's allowing him to land shots. Ball still the busier man but he needs to stay switched on.
Round 8: Ball's workrate is frightening. He's setting a quick pace and he's landing on Dogboe when he slows down.
Round 9: A big left hook at the end of the session looks to freeze Ball. The Liverpool man is dominating rounds but he has to stay switched on for the full three minutes.
Round 10: Ball has a decent round ten and he's handling this step up in class brilliantly.
Round 11: Ball is more than ready for a world title shot after this. He has one round to go and then he can head into 2024 with plenty to look forward to.
Round 12: Complete domination from Ball. Superb from the outset.
The dominance is reflected on the scorecards. 119-108, 118-109 and 116-111. Nick Ball will push on to huge fights next year.
Nick Ball is happy with his performance and he only wants a world title fight next. Frank Warren, his promoter, is aiming to secure him that shot with home advantage.
Denzel Bentley vs Nathan Heaney
Round 1: Not much to split them but Heaney has made his presence felt with a number of attacks.
Round 2: The British champion is starting to have some success but he's relying on his right hand instead of using his jab.
Round 3: Both fighters are looking for one big shot and it's leading to a number of untidy action. Bentley is forcing the fight but Heaney will still be happy.
Round 4: A quiet round but Bentley gets a telling off for hitting the back of the head.
Round 5: Heaney looks relaxed in round five as he boxes on the back foot. Bentley is looking for one big shot and Heaney won't give him the target.
Round 6: A big exchange on the ropes sees both men land good shots. The crowd are fully behind Heaney and he's responding to it.
Round 7: Bentley has tried to win this fight with one shot and it could cost him. He has to be more patient and use his jab.
Round 8: Heaney is breathing heavy after the eighth round as he's put a lot into this. He's surely ahead but can he stay in front?
Round 9: An uneventful round sparks into life when Heaney, who's been bundled to the floor, flips up onto his feet.
Round 10: Tactics are out the window now for Bentley. He has to go all in if he's to keep his title and that's what he's doing.
Round 11: Heaney should be in front but he's being made to work. Bentley is finishing strong.
Round 12: It's hard to split them but Heaney edges the last round and that should be enough to make him the new British champion.
Nathan Heaney is the new British champion after defeating Denzel Bentley via majority decision.
A ridiculous card of 114-114 was pushed to the side by totals of 116-113 and 117-111 as the British middleweight title heads back to Stoke.
Liam Davies vs Vincenzo La Femina
In his fight, Davies went for it from the start and La Famina’s low guard invited pressure as the British fighter landed a string of blows.
There were some heavy blows to the body with less than a minute remaining of the first round and it was the first time in the evening that it looked like a bout not might go the distance.
Davies had a small nick above his left eyebrow, and the Italian had said before the fight that he felt he needed a stoppage, rather than hope to go the distance.
In the third, La Famina was again caught and it forced a standing eight count. Davies came back at the Italian as he searched for a stoppage, but La Famina landed a counter-punch and it was the champion’s turn to take a count, too.
A left-hook at the end of the fourth round drew another standing count. Halfway through the fifth Davies found a way through the defence to unload a flurry of blows and force the referee to step in.
Ekow Essuman vs Harry Scarff
Essuman and Scarff had been antagonising each other in the build-up to Saturday’s fight, as Essuman put his British, Commonwealth and IBF European welterweight belts on the line.
There was speculation that Essuman would come out of the blocks to prove a point but the pair were relatively cagey in the opening rounds, with 6’1” Scarff having a reach advantage but getting close nonetheless.
There was a fierce left elbow in the fifth round from Scarff which may have further have riled Essuman as he came out much more fiercely in the opening of the sixth.
Going into the final round it was far from clear which fighter was ahead on the scores, and Scarff landed two good left jabs and a decent right cross as he looked to pick up potentially decisive points.
Both fighters celebrated, with Scarff even being carried on his team’s shoulders before the judges came out with their decision.
The three judges were all in favour of the challenger, scoring it 116-113 117-112 115-113 for Scarff.
Talking to TNT after the fight, Carl Frampton said: “I would really hate to fight someone like Harry Scarff. He’s really unorthodox, he switches stance when there’s no need, but he tied him up when Essuman up close, he knows he did his best work up close. Massive win for Harry.”
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