Rey Vargas Dropped Twice, Fights Nick Ball To A Draw

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Posted on 03/08/2024

By: Sean Crose

The 19-0 Nick Ball stepped into the ring in Saudi Arabia Friday to take on the 36-1 WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas in a scheduled 12 rounder. Vargas fought to maintain range while Ball lunged ahead in the first. The second saw Ball trying to cut off the ring on his far taller opponent. Ball threw Vargas to the mat early in the third. Both men threw with bad intentions during the round, but Vargas put his punches together well at round’s end. Ball literally chased his man around the ring early in the fourth. Still, Vargas was able to land the more telling blows.

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While there was no denying that Ball was game and determined the difference in height between himself and the defending champion seemed to tell tale in the fifth. Vargas threw from range in the sixth, while Ball continued to apply pressure. Like a bull, Ball charged forward in the seventh. And, about the halfway point of the round, the challenger connected hard on Vargas. A second right caused the defending champion to stumble moments later. Rather than run, Vargas took to fighting fire with fire. It didn’t help matters, though Vargas did survive the round.

By the eighth, it was indeed Ball, who seemed to be controlling the tempo of the fight. And, sure enough, Vargas was dropped in the final seconds of the round. He had taken to falling – or being pushed – to the mat, and Ball, perhaps getting wise to the situation, landed on Vargas on the way down. Suffice to say, Vargas beat the count. He was in a fight, though, and he knew it. In the ninth, it was obvious that Ball was now able to land on Vargas. Indeed, he appeared to tag the defending champion while Vargas was on the ropes in the closing moments of the round.

The tenth was close, with each man having his moments. Ball was furiously aggressive in the eleventh. Indeed, it appeared that he was looking to stop Vargas within the distance. And, sure enough, he dropped Vargas for the second time in the last thirty seconds of the round. Vargas beat the count and fought on bravely, but the ending of a bout that seemed to be going in Vargas’ favor early on was now up in the air. With that in mind, Vargas put his punches together well early in the twelfth. Ball kept on firing, however. As the round continued, Vargas look like he might be a bit gassed while Ball kept pushing forward.

The judge’s ended up ruling the fight a split draw.

Photo: Queensbury Promotions

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