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Angelo Leo Thinks Nick Ball Is ‘Stylistically’ A Problem For Raymond Ford


Featherweight titleholder Raymond Ford has been paired with Nick Ball on the “5 vs. 5” undercard that will complement the undisputed light heavyweight unification matchup between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on June 1.

Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) secured his belt with a last-second stoppage over Otabek Kholmatov in March, an early fight of the year contender. Ford represents Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom on a team that will be captained by newly signed Deontay Wilder.

Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs), of Liverpool, U.K., challenged long-standing titleholder Rey Vargas a week after Ford’s career-defining moment, walking away with a split-decision draw. Previously, Ball had defeated former world titlist Isaac Dogboe over the distance.

Former junior featherweight world titleholder Angelo Leo is currently ranked No. 7 in the rankings to test for Ford’s belt. Leo, 29, dubbed “El Chinito,” has put together three straight wins since joining a competitive 126-pound division.

“That’s an interesting matchup right there,” Leo told BoxingScene. “Nick Ball is just like a little ball, you know. He’s short, but he just goes right in there, he muscles his way through. He’s a very good fighter, very tough.

“Raymond Ford, as you saw in his last fight, is also very tough, as well. He wanted it more than Kholmatov. I think it’s a good matchup, and I think Nick Ball is going to give Ford a lot of trouble and could possibly end up beating him.

“I think he has the style to give Ford some issues. He gave Rey Vargas a run for his money. I would have to go back and watch the tape to properly score it, but to the naked eye I thought it was pretty close. It could have been a draw.”

Leo (24-1, 11 KOs) lost his world title to Stephen Fulton in 2021 but he has since defeated Nicholas Polanco, Mike Plania and Eduardo Baez on ProBox TV’s “Wednesday Night Fights” since his move to featherweight.

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