Eddie Hearn Elated with Ford’s Dramatic Title Win over Kholmatov

Eddie Hearn Elated with Ford’s Dramatic Title Win over Kholmatov

Promoter Eddie Hearn was pleased with his fighter, Raymond Ford’s twelfth-round TKO victory over knockout artist Otabek Kholmatov (12-1, 11 KOs) to win the vacant WBA featherweight title on Saturday night in Verona, New York.

Hearn had predicted that the 25-year-old Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) would defeat Kholmatov, which is why he was in favor of his fighter, Leigh Wood, in vacating the WBA featherweight title rather than face the Uzbekh phenom.

Had it been Wood tonight, he might have folded with the many shots that Ford was hit with.

High Praise for Ford

“What a fight, what a night, I’m so proud of him,” said Eddie Hearn to Fighthype, reacting to Raymond Ford’s come from behind twelfth round knockout victory over Otabek Khomatov in Verona, New York.

“Behind on two scorecards and up on one, I thought if we nicked the twelfth round, it would be really close. As it stands, he had to stop him. He had to stop him to win a world championship, and he done it with 20 seconds to go. A new world champ, America has a new star.”

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Hearn goes a little overboard by saying that “America has a new star” in Ford. Beating Kholmatov in a division that doesn’t much attention by U.S boxing fans won’t transform Ford into a star. He’s still operating under fans’ radar due to the 126-lb division being an ignored weight class.

The Path to Stardom

To become a star in the U.S with it’s population of 330 million, Ford will need to do a lot more than just beating Kholmatov.

He’ll need to move up two weight divisions to 135 or 140, then try and beat fighters like Gervonta Davis, Vasily Lomachenko, Andy Cruz, Raymond Muratalla, Abdullah Mason, Subriel Matias and Devin Haney. What we saw tonight from Ford, he won’t beat any of them. He’s not on that level, but if he wants to become a star, that’s what he must do.

“Let’s bring him home to Camden, New Jersey, and the future is bright. It’s just the beginning, just a young man,” said Hearn.

Cordina as the Next Step?

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Ford mentioned wanting to vacate his newly won WBA featherweight title and move up to 130 to challenge IBF champion Joe Cordina next. Hearn promotes Cordina, so that would be the logical direction for Ford to go in his next fight.

If Hearn wants to turn Ford into a star in the UK, matching him against Cordina would be the thing to do. It’s unlikely that Hearn will be because he would be messing up the situation for one of them, likely Cordina, and he’s not going to want to do that.

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