The pair have met before in February last year, which turned out a six round points win for Higgins, but it was close. Ball takes his first fight this year after travelling to Scotland in October to record a points win over Gary McCallum. If Higgins comes through the challenge, then titles will be beckoning soon for the middleweight.
Flamboyant Bermondsey-based Nigerian Ideh Ockuko (6-11) will be defending his British Masters bronze lightweight belt against European kickboxing champion Francis Maina (2-3-1) over eight rounds. The pair have trained together in the past, so will be looking to capitalise on each others perceived weaknesses.
A tasty trade fight sees tough Lithuanian middleweight banger Virgilijus Stapulionis (22-2) take on former Prizefighter winner Gambian Patrick Mendy (14-7). Stapulionis always looks very strong at the weight, but despite Mendy’s chequered career, has enough speed, accuracy and power to cause an upset.
Former Left Jab regular Albanian Eagle Kreshnik Qato (29-8) will be returning to the ring on Sunday to fight Czech journeyman Attila Kiss (11-68-3). The hugely experienced Qato captured the English middleweight title in 2012 and notched up a points win against Brummie Max Maxwell in his only fight last year.
Alec Wilkey’s Poplar gym will be well represented by Eren Arif (4-1) returning to the ring after his explosive Prizefighter performance in the summer. Arif takes a tough six rounder against Worcester’s Michael Mooney (4-3). Also trained by Alec Wilkey and in action are Morden’s Adam Salman (2-0), Stanford-le-Hope’s Johnny Coyle (2-0) and tall and rangey middleweight debutant Brett Saggs, who previously featured on the unlicensed circuit.
Another Left Jab regular, Hertfordshire based Greek female Areti Mastrodouka (5-0), looks to make it six wins from six against Poland’s Katrina Kopinska (2-6).
Also on the bill, popular Northolt light middleweight Ryan Toms (12-6-1) fights Brummie Dee Mitchell (9-52), Bexleyheath super feather Jack Dishart (2-0) takes his fourth fight against Chichester’s Jonathan Fry (1-8-1) and Wokingham’s Mark Douglas (7-3) is matched with Brighton’s Kevin McCauley (11-65-5).
Stand and Deliver takes place at the York Hall, Bethnal Green on Sunday 23 February. Boxing starts at 3pm. Tickets are available on the door and from Left Jab on 07979 494950.
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