Kendrick Ball defeats Oscar Riojas over eight rounds

History was made on Saturday night at Polar Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate Worcester Red Sox (WooSox), which hosted its first boxing event, “Punch-Out at Polar Park,” under the stars at its award-winning minor league ballpark. (photo by Emily Harney)

The “Punch-Out at Polar Park” Pro Am card was presented by Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP) in conjunction with Kendrick Ball’s Camp Get Right.

“It certainly took a lot of hard work from a lot of good people, including my partner (Kendrick Ball, Sr.) and my family,” SBP president Chuck Shearns said. “It was a historical event and I hope everybody had a good time.”

Hometown hero Kendrick “Peppa” Ball, Jr. (21-1-3, 12 KOs) sent the fans home happy, pitching a shutout in the main event versus Oscar “Moustro” Riojas (28-17-3, 16 KOs), winning by scores of 80-72 three times.

Ball had in a workmanlike strategy, out-boxing his Mexican opponent, and then breaking him down in the final two rounds. Riojas proved to be a crafty southpaw with invaluable experience having fought world champion Carlos Gongara, Irish Olympian Joseph Ward, and top contender Diego Pacheco.

“Leading up to the fight, that (fighting at home in the first boxing event at Polar Park) wasn’t my focus,” Ball, Jr. commented after the fight. “Now, it means a lot to me for me to accomplish what I wanted to and have my fans watch. I made some new fans, too.

“My opponent was getting tired (in the last 2 rounds), He’s very tough, I couldn’t get him out. He’s a lefty and I kept stepping on his foot.”

In the co-featured event, heavyweight “Don’t Play” Sean Bey (8-0, 7 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact, albeit under controversial scoring against Quintin Sumpter (6-2, 4 KOs). In the fourth round, Sumpter lulled Bey in and caught him with a left-right combination that decked Bey for the first time in his pro career. Bey was penalized a point in the fifth round for pushing Sumpter.

A cancer survivor, Bey had never fought more than two rounds and Sumpter was more than happy to take his opponent into deep water. When the decision was announced after eight rounds, Bey was awarded a majority decision, which drew a chorus of boos from the non-partisan fans.

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