Otabek Kholmatov vs. Raymond Ford results: Ford wins gold in hard-hitting classic, Luis Alberto Lopez retains title

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Boxing relied on the featherweight division to put on a show in Verona, New York. The division delivered thanks to two entertaining title fights at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino. In the main event, Raymond Ford dug deep and took out Otabek Kholmatov in the last round to win the WBA featherweight title.

It was a comeback and fight for the ages and added to Ford’s great run following a win in 2023 against former champion Jessie Magdaleno. The 24-year-old earned a TKO stoppage win in the final seconds of the twelfth. 

Ford is the first American from Matchroom Boxing to win a world title. 

Both fighters were tentative to start. But when Kholmatov landed, he looked nearly untouchable in the first few rounds. Through the fight, Kholmatov was connecting from every imaginable position. Left hands reigned down on Ford, who would not back down no matter what got thrown. Ford almost fell to the floor as he was off balance early on. 

As the fight went on, both showed why were fighting for gold. Ford provided pressure by rounds four and five, though Kholmatov was the much more active fighter. They continued to trade shots, and the sound of the shots that connected wowed the fans. Round eight had Ford act as the aggressor, including massive uppercuts that forced Kholmatov to adjust.

It was the start of something special, the thing that makes boxing the sport of kings. 

MORE: Who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world?

Kholmatov tried to push hard and punish Ford for his efforts. In the eleventh, it appeared Kholmatov was ready to win the fight, battering Ford, who had a severe cut underneath his left eye (caused by a clash of heads). However, Ford was a man on a mission. He ended the eleventh with massive blows and started the twelfth with flurries. 

A left hand by Ford connected, and he stepped to Kholmatov, not giving him a chance to breathe thanks to body shots. In the final thirty seconds of the fight, Ford landed a massive uppercut, followed by multiple blows that had Kholmatov by the ropes. Not given a knockdown, Ford chased and battered Kholmatov until about seven seconds left in the fight. Ford collapsed in relief, showcasing all the emotions following the fight. 

Per CompuBox, Ford landed 182 of 598 shots (30.4%), while Kholmatov landed 200 of 728 shots (27.5%). 40.6% of the former’s shots were for power (32.3% for Kholmatov). The final two rounds saw Ford land 41 shots. The judges scored the fight in favor of Kholmatov before Ford’s dramatic win. 

Kholmatov had a leg injury in the fight, likely a torn ACL. It appears Ford has interest in moving to 130 following the win. 

Meanwhile, Luis Alberto Lopez beat Reiya Abe in the co-main event to defend the IBF featherweight title. 

Lopez started the fight hot right away against Abe, a first-time title challenger. Light on his feet, Lopez provided pressure from start to finish. He landed reaching shots that turned into combinations. Body shots were crucial to start the fight as Abe walked into punches. By round two, Abe had a swollen lead eye following a hard shot, which would affect him for the rest of the fight. 

The doctors looked into the eye injury before the start of round three (it would happen multiple times), a sign that the fight result was inevitable. Abe was game for a while, but the eye injury severely impacted his performance. It was the eighth round that the referee saw enough. Lopez put on a brilliant performance, and looks to compete in unification fights. He even talked about bouts at 130. 

Per CompuBox, Lopez landed 165 of 389 shots (42.4%). Of those shots, 135 were vicious power punches. Abe landed 57 of 248 shots (23%). Lopez only landed single-digit shots once and landed 33 in round seven. The Mexican fighter has successfully defended the belt three times. Abe had his six-fight win streak snapped. 

The Sporting News provided results from the entire fight card.

Otabek Kholmatov vs. Raymond Ford results

  • Raymond Ford def. Otabek Kholmatov via TKO for the WBA featherweight title (2:53 into round twelve)
  • Luis Alberto Lopez (c) def. Reiya Abe via TKO for the IBF featherweight title (0:39 into round eight)
  • Brian Norman Jr. vs. Janelson Figueroa Bocachica ended in a no-contest
  • Troy Isley def. Marcos Hernandez via TKO 
  • Bryce Mills def. Gerffred Ngayot via unanimous decision (58-56, 60-54, 60-54)
  • Floyd Diaz def. Edwin Rodriguez via unanimous decision (79-73, 80-72, 78-74) 
  • Brandon Moore def. Helaman Olguin via unanimous decision (80-72, 80-72, 80-72)
  • Rohan Polanco def. Tarik Zaina via unanimous decision (79-71, 79-71, 78-72)
  • Nico Ali Walsh def. Luke Iannuccilli vi unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 59-55)

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