Nick Ball (18-0) successfully defended his WBC Silver featherweight title by defeating Isaac Dogboe (24-3) via unanimous decision at the AO Arena in Manchester. The contest also served as a final eliminator for the WBC world featherweight title.
Nick Ball would start the contest on the front foot, happy to take the fight to Dogboe, who was happy to catch and counter the work of Ball.
The second would be a more competitive round, with both landing in swings of momentum in the round till Ball was wobbled by a straight right hand by Dogboe, which caused panic in the corner of Ball.
The third saw both Dogboe and Ball have each other wobble before landing a knockdown in round four inside the opening thirty seconds of the round. Ball would have complete momentum for the remainder of the round as Dogboe regained his footing, attempting to negate the come-forward nature of Ball.
The fifth saw Ball come out of his corner quickly, landing a three-punch combination while Dogboe attempted to fire back with single jabs. Ball would be guilty of trying to load up on several of his shots as Dogboe fought back in spurts at multiple points during the round, demonstrating fast hands, causing Ball minor discomfort with a flush counter right hook in the final portion of the round.
Six saw Ball and Dogboe exchange hooks early before Ball learnt the lesson of the round previously and shortened his shots to significant effect and, manoeuvring Dogboe around the centre ring., Ball would focus his attacks around the mid-section of Dogboe, who was still fighting in bursts despite slowing footwork after a taxing six opening rounds.
The second half of the contest would start with Ball continuing on the front foot, landing combinations which included a screw-uppercut through the guard of Dogboe. The pace of the action had reduced, which aided Dogboe in landing his own combinations in response, but Ball was always able to respond with his own when Dogboe attempted to press the action.
The eighth frame saw Dogboe come out fighting, taking the fight to Ball, targeting the body of the Liverpudlian with stabbing jabs and hooks. Ball would wobble Dogboe courtesy of a right hook late in the round but he decided not to pursue a possible stoppage.
The pressure of Ball would continue into the ninth, who was able to pick his moments to pursue Dogboe predominantly as Dogboe was moving towards the ropes on multiple occasions. Dogboe would attempt to end the round strongly with several hard flurry shots.
Round ten was similar to the ninth, with Ball turning the screw in the eleventh, targeting the bruised and swollen face of Dogboe with a short uppercut up close before taking a step back and punching through the high guard of Dogboe with long straight shots. Dogboe would attempt to salvage a result in the twelfth, but Ball was in complete control of proceeding to the final round despite Dogboe’s efforts.
After twelve rounds, the contest was scored a unanimous decision in favour of Nick Ball with scores of 118-109, 116-111 &119-108.