One of the most leftfield fights of the 2021 incarnation of Matchroom’s Fight Camp will pit unbeaten American featherweight prospect Raymond Ford against former Commonwealth champion Reece Bellotti on Saturday.
The touted Ford (8-0-1, 4 KOs) was held to an eight-round draw in his last outing against Aaron Perez in Dallas in March, but plans to make amends and underline his rich potential against the experienced Bellotti (14-4, 12 KOs) in their scheduled 10-round encounter in Brentwood at the weekend.
Ford previously fought in the UK in his second pro bout in Nottingham back in May 2019 and is relishing his return. After headhunting in the bout with Perez, Ford plans to revert to his fluid boxing against Watford’s Bellotti.
“I’m expecting a pressure fighter just like I faced last time out, and it’s the type of fight that I wanted,” said Camden, New Jersey’s Ford. “We wanted the rematch with Perez but he didn’t want it, but Reece has a similar style, he’s got experience, he’s been in there with good fighters and he’s done 12 rounds before and he’s got a name in the UK too so we thought that this was a good fight for me.
“If I am in shape, I can do whatever I want – just be in shape and execute the game plan, and I will handle business. I’ve seen some of Reece’s fights, he stopped a southpaw in Jason Cunningham and the Jordan Gill fight. I’m a southpaw, too, but I am on a whole different level with respect to Jason.
“I can stop him, but I am not going in there to do it. In my last fight I was throwing too many big single shots to try to get him out of there, I was believing in my own hype and what commentators had been saying about my wins and my power, so I am going back to basics and doing what I do best and that’s to just box and dominate, and if the KO comes, then I am going to get it.
“It felt like a loss, I won’t lie, I cried in the locker room and when I was home, I didn’t leave the house for two weeks, the draw really hurt me. I still felt like I did enough to win the fight, but it wasn’t my best night, it wasn’t pretty at all, and I was disappointed with my performance. It’s given me the hunger though, I don’t think about it anymore, I’m not looking to the past, I just want to move forward, I would still like the rematch though so I can clean that up, but he doesn’t want it, and this is another good fight for me and when I beat Reece, I think people will forget about the draw.
“Eddie [Hearn] messaged me and asked how I was after the fight and I told him that I wanted the rematch and revenge, he tried to get the rematch going but it didn’t happen, but this is a good fight for me and there’s a first title for me to fight for too and ten rounds for the first time. This is a fight that can take me to the next level, it’s a breakout fight.
“Expect me to steal the show. I am going to bring a while different style; I honestly think I have the best skills of anyone on the card and I hope ours is the best fight of the night. I felt the love when I got here but I know tonight that the crowd will be against me as this is his home turf, but after the fight I hope I get the love from the fans again and put on a show for them. It’s always great to come to the UK and meet new people, do interviews, and experience that UK life again.
“I’ve been wanting to come back for a while, the fans had been DM-ing me asking me to come back, I was saying ‘don’t ask me, tell Eddie!’ And now I am back I hope that everyone tunes in, and I can meet the fans that are here, and we have a great night, it’s going to be great to fight in front of fans again and especially the fans in the UK.”
Main image: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA.