Worcester boxer Kendrick “Peppa” Ball, Jr. is living the dream and closing in on some of his goals in the ring.
Ball (11-1-2, 8 KOs), fighting out of his native Worcester, MA, will headline his first show and fight for his first title belt, when he headlines “Every Man For Himself”, the inaugural event presented by Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP), on Friday night, March 15, at The Palladium in Worcester. This will be the first time Ball headlines a show, in addition to fighting for his first title, in the six-round main event for the vacant New England middleweight title,
The 26-year-old Ball, promoted by CES Boxing, faces upset-minded Danny “Feel Good Hollywood” Rosenberger (4-6-4, 1 KO), of Youngstown, Ohio.
“This fight is so important for me because I’ve always wanted to headline in my hometown and fight for a title,” the 6′ 3″ Ball said. “Another goal of mine, before I started boxing, was to fight on a card with my cousin, Owen Minor, who will be making his pro debut. He’s a big puncher and people can expect a big KO from him.
“I’m an exciting fighter who likes to get knockouts. Expect something big to happen March 15th. I’m working on boxing more, using my jab a lot, to improve. I don’t know a lot about my opponent, but I understand he likes to move a lot.”
“Shearns Boxing is happy to have Kendrick Ball, Jr. headline our Mar. 15th card,” SBP promoter Chuck Shearns commented. “He’s a good kid whose family is rooted in Worcester boxing. There definitely is a rise in the number of quality fighters coming out of Worcester. This will probably be our last chance to watch Kendrick Jr. fighting in Worcester before his promoter, CES Boxing, has him fighting on the national scene.”
Ball, who started boxing at 13, experienced an unusual start to his boxing career, losing his first nine amateur bouts, before becoming a decorated boxer who turned pro in 2016.
“I wasn’t really ready, my head wasn’t into boxing when I started,” Ball explained. “I didn’t want to quit, and that experience taught me to never to give up. I knew that I was good – I had success sparring with pros – but it wasn’t there when I fought. I kept punching and grew into my own.”
Ball captured gold medals at three Western Golden Gloves Championships, plus top honors at the Rocky Marciano Tournament, also becoming a prestigious USA New England champion.
Trained by his father, Ken Ball, Sr., who owns and operates Camp Get Right gym in Worcester, Ball Sr. & Jr. have succeeded when many father-son relationships in boxing have often failed.
“We have a tight bond and we’ve been doing this since he was little,” Ball Sr. reported. “It’s worked out well. I try to separate father-son and make it trainer-boxer, but that’s hard at times.”
His son added, “It’s all good. Sometimes it’s difficult and becomes a little hard, but only because he’s pushing me. He’s my trainer, mostly, during fights.”
Father and son agree that there is a boxing resurgence in Worcester, which has a rich history dating back a century, but it also went through a slow period. Ball is part of a gifted quartet that’s making noise today in boxing, joining Khiary Gray, Jermaine Ortiz and Irvin Gonzalez.
“Over the last three years,” Ball St. remarked, “boxing has been hot again in Worcester. There are a lot of talented, young boxers in Worcester. Once Khiary turned pro, that triggered a lot of boxers turning pro.”
“We’re all close,” Ball Jr. concluded. “We’ve trained together and support each other.”
Worcester boxing is on the rise and more talent is turning pro, starting Mar. 15th when Ball’s cousin, Minor, makes his long-awaited pro debut in a four-rounder versus Corey Morley (0-2-1), of Philadelphia.
Undefeated Providence light heavyweight Angel Camacho, Jr. (15-0, 5 KOs) returns to the ring after a three-year absence in a six-round bout, co-featured event against Dallas challenger Taronze Washington (17-26, 9 KOs).
Undefeated Southbridge, MA welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (5-0, 3 KOs) takes on upset-minded Peruvian Carlos Galindo (1-7), fighting out of Woburn, MA, in a four-round clash.
Also fighting on the undercard, all in four-round fights, are Springfield, MA lightweight Calixto Cruz (1-0) vs. TBA, Worcester cruiserweight Jake Paradise (0-2) vs. Francisco Artri Neto (0-2), of Woburn, MA, New Britain, CT Nathan Martinez (2-0) vs. TBA, and Bridgeport, CT junior lightweight Carlos Marrero III (0-2-1) vs. Worcester’s Edwin Rosado (1-8-1, 1 KO).
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
General admission tickets are priced at $25.00 and available to purchase online at thepalladium.net. Boxers on the card have $50.00 and $25.00 tickets to sell.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first fight at 7 p.m. ET.
Event sponsors include Lundgren Collision, Tecate, Grill 57, Worcester Railers, Worcester Red Sox, Palley Advertising, and Allstate Insurance.