Nick Ball now sits at number one in the WBC’s featherweight rankings. The unbeaten powerhouse has earned his spot with a string of five stoppages and his relentless aggression has made him one of Britain’s most exciting fighters.
Paul Stevenson trains Ball (18-0, 11 KO’s) at the Everton Red Triangle gym in Liverpool and has overseen the 26 year old’s development since he was a teenager.
“Nick came to me when he was 18 or 19 and said he wanted to turn pro,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com. “He hadn’t boxed for a few years but he did have a good amateur career. We were just teaching him things and getting him ready. When he was ready to fly it was a case of trying to get him a decent name. That came along in Isaac Lowe [Ball stopped Lowe on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s knockout of Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in April 2022]. They considered Nick an opponent but I knew what Nick could do and that it was a great chance to show everybody else.
“People can see what he’s been doing. He learned quietly under the radar and now it’s time to go. He’s ready.”
Rey Vargas (36-1, 22 KO’s) picked himself up off the floor and outpointed Mark Magsayo to win the WBC title in July 2022 but hasn’t defended it since, instead suffering his first career defeat to O’Shaquie Foster in a bid for the vacant WBC super featherweight belt. In that time, Ball has racked up three consecutive victories. The most recent coming in May when he stopped the previously undefeated Ludumo Lamati.
“Nick’s really exciting,” Stevenson said. “He’ll be boxing for a world title anytime soon, they’re just trying to position him but he’s in the number one spot so there’s only one way to go.
“It looks likely that he will box somebody for the mandatory spot. Win that and you have to at least take one mandatory defense a year as champion so we’ll definitely get somebody.”