ng>Coseley’s Jamie Ball was back in the public eye to pick up the Boxer from the Past accolade at the Midlands Boxing Awards on Saturday night.
The former Midlands light middleweight champion, who retired in 2012 with back problems, was invited to the annual bash at the Eaton Hotel in Birmingham.
‘The Black Country Bully,’ now 30, hung up his gloves still unbeaten after 15 fights, with two draws the only blemish on his paid record, writes Craig Birch.
The first was with the area crown on the line against Telford’s Kieron Gray in December 2010, after being a count in the last round for a controversial touchdown.
He rebounded to stop Newark’s Andrew Lowe in seven rounds to finally claim the belt two months later, boxing three more times before calling time.
His last fight was an English title eliminator against Nasser Al Harbi in March 2012, which was halted on a technical draw in round four after his opponent was cut above the right eye.
With his fighting days over Ball, who was trained by his uncle and fellow ex-pro Shaun Cooper, has pursued a university degree in building studies.
Three fighters from this side of the West Midlands were also nominated for awards, Stourbridge’s Sam Eggington in the running for Best Boxer.
The Midlands welterweight champion, who has just signed a promotional deal with Matchroom, lost out to British champion Frankie Gavin.
Birmingham’s Gavin has the crown that ‘the Savage,’ who has just turned 21, covets and they could well meet down the line to determine who is really the best.
Tipton’s Ricky Summers was up for Best Young Boxer, after a stellar year back at light heavyweight which has gleaned the International Masters title.
But it was English flyweight champion Louis Norman, from Shepshed in Leicestershire, who took that gong after two wins from three, plus a draw from a title defence against Don Broadhurst.
Jason Welborn’s Midlands light middleweight title bloodbath with Terry Carruthers, who was cut above both eyes before the fight was stopped in the eighth, was an option for Best Fight.
The Rowley Regis puncher claimed the Brummie’s belt as a result but not awards bragging rights, which went to another area title tussle.
Two other second city combatants, the now-retired Calum Cooper and Marcus Ffrench, took the top prize for their compelling light welter war in July.
Awards: -Boxing and the Community: Tom Chaney
Best Young Boxer: Louis Norman (Sullivan Mason and Ricky Summers also nominated)
Best Supporting Boxer: Max Maxwell (Michael Mooney and Chris Truman also nominated)
Services to Boxing: Jon Pegg
Boxer from the Past: Jamie Ball
Best Fight: Calum Cooper v Marcus Ffrench (Jason Welborn v Terry Carruthers and Prince David Davis v Jahmaine Smyle also nominated)
Best Boxer: Frankie Gavin (Khalid Yafai and Sam Eggington also nominated)