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Ball comes up short

After a series of new refs were given their opportunity to work and be evaluated, Jeff Hinds was back in the ring for this six rounder, the first of which was fought at a rapid pace. Despite Higgins (11st 7lbs) ' significant height advantage, Ball (11st 10lbs) is game and very ready to mix it up. Higgins didn't manage to nail him with anything nasty, but he appeared to be getting the better of the exchanges, if by a narrow margin.

Higgins continued edging the second, but was far from dominant, and wasn't able to find a tactic that would consistently nail Ball, until a right hook to the ribs stung Ball in the third. Seconds later, another right to the head staggered him. Higgins followed up aggressively, winning the round convincingly.

Ball threw some game combinations in the third, with one or two shots landing, but Higgins responded with another digging right hook to the ribs. Higgins got the best of it as both men mixed it up for the rest of the round, punctuated with a long overhand right to Ball's face just ahead of the bell.

Higgins started the fifth scoring with two good left hooks to the head and one to the body. A little later, he slid in his right and went in straight down the middle of Ball's defence with another left to the face. A left uppercut followed shortly after by two overhand rights late in the round emphasised Higgins' dominance.

Higgins continued in the closing round with digging rights to the body and followed them up with lefts to the head. Ball fought bravely - he still came forward, even landing on occasion- but Higgins was clearly the better fighter. It got a bit sloppy as Higgins tired, but Ball simply didn't have enough to threaten the upset. Ball's fortitude earned a score from Hinds that was a little closer than the differential in skill level, as he scored 59-57 for Higgins.


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