Home Boxing News Nick Ball robbed, deserves rematch with Rey Vargas, says trainer

Nick Ball robbed, deserves rematch with Rey Vargas, says trainer

Nick Ball and Rey Vargas. Photo credit: Richard Pelham/Getty Images

The trainer of featherweight contender Nick Ball 19-0-1 (11) believes his fighter deserved the nod in his world title fight on the weekend and is calling for a rematch.

The 27-year-old Brit from Liverpool challenged WBC 126-pound champion Rey Vargas 36-1-1 (22) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday night.

Mexican Vargas, 33, used his height and reach to keep Ball on the outside for much of the first half of the fight but once the challenger got inside, he did damage.

Vargas was on the canvas in the eighth round and again in the 11th.

Ultimately it proved to be not quite enough for Ball, who had to settle for a split draw with scores of 116-110, 113-113 and 112-114.

“The reaction of the crowd said it all. The boos were cascading down from the top. I don’t think anyone was happy with that decision,” Ball’s trainer Paul Stevenson said to Boxing Now.

“This is what’s wrong with boxing a lot of the time. You get a close, hard fight but the clear emergence of someone new. You have to kill the king to become the king. He does everything that’s asked of him and more and wins clearly in the eyes of most.

“Some of those scorecards are all over the place. The referee – I don’t know where they’ve got him from but I wouldn’t like to see him again. It’s very frustrating to say the least.”

Stevenson said he alerted referee Giovanni Poggi to the style of fight to expect, imploring the Italian to let Ball box his natural fight.

“I spoke to the referee when he came round to give the pre-fight instructions,” Stevenson said. “I said we had a tall opponent who is going to want to box and move. Please give Nick the opportunity to work inside before you jump in and break the fight.

“Straight away he was very dismissive of it and when the fight happened, as soon as they got close – like I knew he would because I could tell by his body language before – he was right in there.

“I don’t like to slag [Vargas] off because he’s a world champion, but I was disappointed in the way he carried himself. Throwing himself on the floor and complaining constantly. I don’t think he conducted himself as a champion and he goes home with the belt and not Nick.”

Stevenson added: “We’d love that rematch.”

Ball’s promoter Frank Warren was equally miffed with the result, saying after the fight they would petition the WBC for a sceond crack at the title.

“He won that fight. We aren’t cry babies, but he won the fight. Listen to the crowd. Did he win it or did he win it?” the Queensberry Promotions chief said.

“I don’t know what’s going on. How is that a split? He had him down twice. He lost a few of the early rounds but he won the fight.

“I’m sure [the rematch] will get ordered by the WBC.”