Raymond Ford takes title via stoppage against Otabek Kholmatov

Raymond Ford defeats Otabek Kholmatov to land the vacant WBA featherweight title live from Verona, New York

Raymond Ford came out with the win against Otabek Kholmatov live from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on Saturday, March 2. Battling it out in the main event live on ESPN+, the American contender became a new world champion, taking the victory over previously unbeaten opponent of Uzbekistan via TKO.

Referee Charlie Fitch called it a day at 2 minutes and 53 seconds into the 12th round after Ford tagged Kholmatov and started chasing him down. Going into the final round, Kholmatov was leading on two of the judges’ scorecards. Prior to the stoppage, which came seven seconds prior to the end of the fight, the scores were 106-103, 104-105 and 106-103.

With the victory, Raymond Ford landed the vacant WBA featherweight title. The 24-year-old southpaw of Camden, New Jersey improved to 15-0-1, 8 KOs.

Kholmatov dropped to 12-1, 11 KOs. Hollywood, Florida-based 25-year-old didn’t succeed in his first attempt to become champion.

“My coach told me to bring that dog out,” Ford said post-fight. “We knew we were coming into their territory. This wasn’t under our promotion. But we had to dig deep. The whole time in the corner, I kept telling myself, ‘I’m going to stop him.’ I felt him breaking down as the rounds went on.”

“I started off a little slow. I felt I didn’t really have the energy and the legs to be the sharper boxer I know I can be. That was due to a tough weight cut. So, this may be my last fight at 126. Then, we’ll go up to 130 and call out the champions there.”

“I knew I had to stop him. The rounds were too close. I just had to bring that dog out that my coaches were talking about. I always knew I had it in me. I come from a rough background. There’s nothing that can stop me. Ever.”

Get Kholmatov vs Ford full fight card results.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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