Former New England middleweight champion Kendrick “Peppa” Ball, Jr. turned in a career-best performance in last night’s main event against dangerous Bryan “The Warrior” Vera on the evening portion of the “Crossroads” day-night doubleheader, presented by Granite Chin Promotions, at New England Sports Center in Derry, New Hampshire.
The pre-fight plan was followed as Ball (16-1-2, 11 KOs) boxed and moved, while Vera (28-17, 18 KOs) applied pressure, right from the opening bell. Ball took control in the second round, when he stayed in the pocket, snapping off crisp combinations. Ball fired more effective combinations in the third round as Vera started chasing his opponent. Ball started moving around the ring and fighting from the outside in the fourth and stayed on his toes the remainder of the fight.
Ball won an 8-round unanimous decision (79-73, 79-73, 78-74) to become the World Boxing Council (WBC) USNBC (United States) Silver Super Middleweight Champion.
“This was my best fight, because of who I fought, and the magnitude of the fight,” Ball commented. “The plan was to box and move because he was much smaller and slower. At times I banged, when I knew he wasn’t hurting me, but I shouldn’t have taken the risks.”
The 39-year-old Vera isn’t the same fighter he was when he beat three different world champions – Andy Lee, Sergio Mora (twice) and Serhiy Dzinziruk. The Texan needs to decide if it’s time to finally hang up his gloves.
“This was awesome, definitely our best show to date,” Granite Chin’s Chris Traietti declared after the show. “We feel great about stepping up to give these fighters, especially the locals, a platform to perform on in front of fans. I think a lot of promoters have gotten lazy. They gave us a lane and Granite Chin took advantage. This was our fourth show with fans during the last year. Brian fought hard and he’s a great guy, but he’s not the same guy he was in 2011. He needs to think about what he’s going to do.
“Granite Chin returns here June 26th with another doubleheader. The afternoon show will be the Granite Chin Invitational for open elite boxers. With the New England Golden Gloves canceled again there is a void to fill. If promoters are going to help amateurs, I certainly will, starting June 26th.”