Undefeated British featherweight Nick Ball scored his thirteenth win recently while making his TV debut, the young prospect gave an interview with Tim Rickson on the win, training during the pandemic and whats next in his career.
On the under-card of Lyndon Arthur’s Commonwealth light-heavyweight title defense to Dec Spelman, three undefeated prospects from the thriving Everton Red Triangle gym in Liverpool fought under the Queensberry Promotions’ banner for the first time, doubling up as their BT Sport debut.
After stopping six of his last seven foes, undefeated featherweight Nick Ball (13-0, 6KOs) was taken the eight-round distance for the first time in his career when up against fellow unbeaten fighter Jerome Campbell (6-1, 1KO).
All trained by Paul Stevenson, his teammates, Andrew Cain and Brad Strand, also won their fights earlier on in the evening. The trio signed contracts with Frank Warren back in February, shortly before lock-down commenced.
The talented youngster swarmed his London opponent relentlessly throughout the contest, but ‘Stay Ready’ Campbell somehow managed to make it to the final bell after a torrid eight rounds with the Liverpool fighter. It was left to referee Mark Lyson to confirm an emphatic 79-72 score in favor of 23-year-old Ball, making it his 13th victory in just over three years as a pro.
Tim Rickson- How was the overall experience of being on a Queensberry Promotions card for you?
Nick Ball- “It was a good experience, it was all new, especially the situation with the virus and being behind closed doors, it was a little bit strange.
“Getting down there the week before and staying in the hotel was all different, but the day before weigh-in was really good, I’m used to weighing in on the day of the fight in Liverpool, so it’s a massive advantage.
“We got to the venue and had a tiny dressing room and had to stay in there until our fight. After the fight, we were taken straight back to the hotel in the taxi. As soon as you step in the ring though, it’s all forgotten about.
“It was a boss experience. I always pictured myself on these types of shows, performing on TV.”
Tim Rickson- Your two teammates – Andrew Cain and Brad Strand – both won their bouts before you, did that put added pressure on you to complete the hat-trick for your team?
Nick Ball- “There’s always pressure, but not really any added pressure for me because I knew I was going to do a good job anyway, I knew what I was going to do and that I would win the fight in style.”
Tim Rickson- What sort of feedback have you had following the performance?
Nick Ball- “People have been saying that I’ve got scary fitness! They’ve been saying, ‘You’ve got an engine on you’, so it’s all good feedback. A few people were telling me that in round two, the commentary were saying that I’d never keep that pace up, but I know I can and I did.”
Tim Rickson- What made you want to take a risk against another unbeaten prospect for your TV debut?
Nick Ball- “I want to beat these kinds of fighters because you’ll see the best of me when I’m fighting people like that. It’s hard to look good against journeymen, whose job it is to just survive. When people are coming to win against me, they don’t know about surviving, they just want to win, and I can perform to my best.”
Tim Rickson- What would you like to happen in your career next, in an ideal world?
Nick Ball- “It’s hard to tell really because of the situation we’re all in, but I think I’m raked ninth in Britain now so hopefully I’ll be getting title shots soon, but it’s all up to Paul [Stevenson] and Frank [Warren].
“Francis [Warren] saw me after the fight and said he’ll get me back out as soon as possible.”
Ball’s teammate, Andrew Cain (6-0, 6KOs) opened the show on the last day of July against Blackpool boxer Ed Harrison (1-4) in a six-round super-featherweight contest, although five-time national amateur champion Cain usually operates at 126lbs.
The 23-year-old featherweight continued to walk down Harrison throughout, throwing spiteful left and right hooks, and the bloodied opponent bravely made it the third round but his corner ultimately decided to call off the fight before the fourth round could begin.
In the second bout of the evening, ABA Elites 2018 champion Brad Strand (4-0, 1KO) had a tricky task in the shape of experienced campaigner Brett ‘The Threat’ Fidoe (13-63-5, 6KOs), but the 23-year-old super-bantamweight improved to 4-0 as a professional, with valuable lessons to take back to Liverpool with him.
Ruthless aggression was undoubtedly the defining trait of the Red Triangle trio, all trained by head coach Paul Stevenson, who has a total of seven unbeaten prospects under his watchful eye.
‘King’ Lyndon Arthur (17-0, 12KOs) retained his Commonwealth crown with a classy unanimous decision victory over Dec Spelman (16-4, 8KOs) in the main event, with scores of 116-112, 116-113 and 119-109; and 23-year-old Belfast middleweight Caoimhin ‘Black Thunder’ Agyarko (7-0, 4KOs) stopped Harrow Weald’s Jez Smith (11-2-1, 5KOs) in nine-rounds.