Rachel Ball is relishing every step of her “whirlwind year” in boxing and has her sights firmly set on climbing up the division rankings this weekend.
The 26-year-old featherweight took a convincing victory in her first bout days before Christmas, beating Claudia Ferenczi on points.
And the former world kickboxing champion steps into the squared circle for the second time as a professional boxer this weekend (Saturday, 10th February) on the card of the Midlands Boxing Super Series, brought to WFC The Venue by BCB Promotions.
Ball, from Aldridge, will take on Bojana Libiszewska in the Stadium Suite, the site of her first victory in the paid ranks, and she is expecting another tough evening.
“The first was difficult in a way just because she was so small – but I got the win,” said Ball.
“She just didn’t want to know when I put the pressure on and she kept trying to hold me.
“I used my straight punches to keep her away and I was really pleased with how I did.
“Now I’m planning to put the pressure on more and step it up. I’m learning more about my footwork and we’ve worked on putting that pressure on, getting my movement better.
“I’m taking on the advice of my coaches and I’m a lot more powerful this time round.
“Bojana has fought all the top girls in the UK – she fought Natasha Jones in September and Chantelle Cameron, too.
“It’s going to be a massive fight to get me up the rankings and it’s over six rounds, too, but I’ve done five, six and seven rounds in kickboxing previously.
“I’m better over more rounds anyway. I don’t think I come into my own until the second or third round in.”
The change in discipline posed no problems for Ball in her first bout, with the flame-haired big-hitter looking in dominant form against Ferenczi.
“There were no difficulties but it’s a continuing journey,” Ball said of her transition from kickboxing to boxing.
“I don’t miss my legs, which is the main thing, and I do feel I’m where I should be at this stage.
“I feel I’m performing but you’re going from having four limbs to use to just two – so it’s about focusing on that in the transition.”
Now Ball’s aim is to take more victories and rise up the ranks towards title contention – starting with this weekend’s show.
“I need to get some more wins under my belt and build up my record in the local area,” she added.
“It’s going to be a whirlwind of a year but girls can climb the rankings in boxing pretty quickly – if you get those wins.
“I’m going to have some big fights before the end of the year.”
Tickets are on sale now by contacting the boxers on Facebook or online at iboxingtickets.com. Alternatively, call the Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414, extension 416. They are priced at £35 standard and £60 ringside, the latter option to include food. It will be £40 entry on the door on the night.