Featured image: Queensberry Promotions via X.
Queensberry Promotions present one of the strongest domestic cards of the year topped by Liverpool featherweight Nick Ball‘s clash with former champion Isaac Dogboe.
The pair collide in a final eliminator for Rey Vargas‘ WBC title at 126lbs atop a card which is bustling with domestic and European title clashes at Manchester’s AO Arena.
Ball (18-0, 11KOs) heads into the night on the back of seven stoppage wins in his last eight, including a sixth-round KO of Isaac Lowe in front of a packed Wembley Stadium to announce himself on the domestic scene.
Former super-bantamweight champion Dogboe (24-3, 15KOs) stands as Ball’s sternest test to date however, and despite coming off a unanimous decision loss to Robeisy Ramirez for the vacant WBO title, the Ghanaian’s vast experience makes for an interesting crossroads match-up in Manchester.
Ball: ‘I’ve worked my whole life for this’
Ball enters the night ranked number one with the WBC while Dogboe occupies the number two spot, meaning the victor will be ordered to face the belt-holder Vargas next.
The Liverpudlian has came up the hard way, making his professional debut in Fusion nightclub in Liverpool and paving a path through the small hall circuit.
His victory over Lowe in April last year saw him sign with Frank Warren and the 26-year-old is potentially 36 minutes away from a shot at world honours.
“A win over anyone at this level, going where I’m going, it means everything to me because I’ve worked my whole life to get to this position,” he told Queensberry on Friday.
“I’m one step away [from] fighting for the title I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid.”
Dogboe meanwhile was outclassed by Ramirez but heads to the AO Arena with a wealth of experience, including the status as the former WBO super-bantamweight champion.
Still only 29, the Ghanaian native harbours ambitions of his own of facing-off against Mexico’s Vargas and bringing the Nick Ball hype train to a sudden halt.
Bentley defends British against Heaney on packed undercard
British middleweight champion Denzel Bentley (18-2-1, 15KOs) makes the third defence of his Lord Lonsdale belt when he takes on Stoke fan favourite Nathan Heaney (17-0, 6KOs).
Battersea’s Bentley’s stock has risen since a competitive twelve-round decision loss to Janibek Alimkhanuly for the WBO middleweight crown in November last year.
The 28-year-old has since returned with a first-round KO of Kieran Smith to defend his British title as he begins to plan a path back to world level.
Heaney meanwhile will be buoyed by his 2000 fans in the AO Arena on the night as he looks to secure his dream of becoming British champion, but faces by far his toughest test to date and enters the night a firm underdog.
Telford’s Liam Davies (14-0, 6KOs) also defends his European super-bantamweight title versus Italy’s Vincenzo La Femina (13-0, 7KOs), while British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Ekow Essuman (19-0, 7KOs) defends against Harry Scarff (12-2, 3KOs) in an East Midlands derby.
Glasgow’s Hannah Rankin (13-6, 3KOs) is also seeking to become a two-time world super-welterweight champion when she fights Slovenia’s Ema Kozin (23-1-1, 12KOs) for the vacant WBC belt, and Birmingham’s Solomon Dacres (7-0, 2KOs) defends his English heavyweight crown versus Middlesbrough’s Michael Webster (9-0, 6KOs).
Bearsden super-featherweight Nathaniel Collins (13-0, 7KOs) also takes on Manchester’s Zak Miller (13-0, 3KOs) in defence of his British and Commonwealth titles.