BOXING

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR BOXING PREVIEW Sat: Nick Ball v Isaac Dogboe

Featherweight sensation Nick Ball will welcome former world champion Isaac Dogboe to Manchester this weekend as he looks to take one step closer to a shot at the WBC featherweight title.

Ball is undefeated in 18 fights and after a breakout year in 2022, he will be looking for a statement victory to secure a world title shot in 2024.

Ball, who hails from Liverpool, began his career on the northwest small hall scene and after making his professional debut in 2017, he built a big following in his home city of Liverpool but it wasn’t until he knocked out Isaac Lowe on a Tyson Fury undercard in April 2023 that the wider boxing public began to pay attention.

Following that victory, the undefeated 26-year-old was snapped up by promoter Frank Warren and has since registered three more knockout victories in just 18 months. Now holding a record of 18-0 (11KO), Ball is world ranked and he has made it abundantly clear that he expects to be fighting for a world title in 2024.

Nick Ball looks like a fighter destined for the top but this is a huge step up in competition this weekend and Isaac Dogboe arrives in the UK with a wealth of experience under his belt. He started his professional journey in 2013 and has since built up a respectable 24-3 (15KO) record and although he came from humbling beginnings, Dogboe reached the top of the mountain in 2018 by winning the WBO world super bantamweight title.

Dogboe is a fighter that prefers to let his fists do the talking and rarely steps into the media spotlight and for that reason he is hugely underrated and underappreciated but a closer look at his record reveals just how good he is. Wins over Jessie Magdaleno, Christopher Diaz and Joet Gonzalez are all highly respectable and his three losses came against Emmanuel Navarrete (x2) and Robiesy Ramirez, who are both elite fighters.

Dogboe may arrive in the UK as the ‘away’ fighter but he is comfortable in this environment and will thrive in his position as underdog. After sharing the ring with the likes of Navarrete and Ramirez, he won’t be fazed by the hype around Nick Ball and there is no doubt he is travelling to the UK expecting to win.

Like Isaac Dogboe, Nick Ball is not a fan of the circus that sometimes surrounds boxing. As a quiet character, he shies away from media duties but once that opening bell goes, he arguably the most aggressive featherweight on the planet. The Liverpudlian is not willing to ever take a back foot and that won’t change despite him taking on a well-experienced former world champion.

This is the toughest test of Nick Ball’s young career but he has everything in his arsenal to make it to the top of this division. Dogboe will be his usual stubborn self but the local man should have enough to win by decision (5/4) and claim the biggest win of his career.

On the undercard, British middleweight champion Denzel Bentley (18-2-1) will put his title on the line against Nathan Heaney (17-0) in a fight that could steal some headlines. Bentley fell short at world level twelve months ago but by going twelve rounds with a dominant champion like Zhanibek Alimkhanuly should fill him with confidence.

Nathan Heaney is a crowd favourite and has a huge following but he has built a 17-0 record without ever fighting anyone of note. He has plenty of talent but with just six knockouts on his slate, he may struggle to get the respect of the champion.

Denzel Bentley is a solid puncher and this return to calmer waters should mean he can display his full skillset and keep his dominant run at British level going. Less than seven completed rounds (1/1 with starsports.bet) is the play here.

JORDAN NEILD


RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Nick Ball to win by decision 1pt at 5/4 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Less than seven completed rounds in Bentley vs Heaney 1pt at 1/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (NOV 2023): LOSS -6.14 points


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