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Raymond Ford Stops Otabek Kholmatov In 12th To Win WBA Featherweight Title

Posted on 03/03/2024

By: Sean Crose

The 14-0-1 Raymond Ford entered the ring at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino Saturday night in the hope of winning the vacant WBA featherweight title. His opponent in the scheduled 12 rounder was the 12-0 Otabek Kholmatov. The first round was largely a feeling out process, though Kholmatov was able to land effectively. Ford almost went down in an exciting second, that saw Kholmatov land some good shots while Ford largely fought well behind his fast jab. While Ford remained sharp in the third, he simply allowed Kholmatov to land cleanly far too frequently. By the end of the round Kholmatov was putting punches together impressively.

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Ford proved to be quite aggressive in the fourth, firing off punches with fast hands, and controlling the tempo of the chapter. A very busy Kholmatov completely dominated the fifth with punch combinations. The sixth was exciting and fast paced, with each man having his strong moments. Kholmatov fired away at his man in the seventh. Ford had a solid eighth, landing sharp shots of his own that landed cleanly. Kholmatov took to moving about and outright avoiding Ford during the ninth. Ford was good in the tenth, but Kholmatov was better. Throughout the fight, the man simply seemed to have more in the tank than Ford did.

A bloody but determined Ford tried to sharpshoot in the eleventh, to some positive results. Still, it didn’t look like Ford would have much chance on the judge’s cards as the twelfth round began. So Ford let it all go, charging at Kholmatov, landing like he had tried to land all night, and finally doing enough to get the referee to legitimately stop the fight just before the final bell. It was an extraordinary win for the New Jersey fighter, who is now the WBA featherweight champion of the world.

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