Walsall boxer Rachel Ball insists she has plenty of positives to take from her first professional boxing defeat.
The Aldridge pugilist stepped up to lightweight to challenge former European and WBC International Champion Katharina Thanderz (10-0, 2 KOs) in Norway on Saturday.
Despite Thanderz stepping in heavy on the scales, the fight went ahead in Arendel and Ball pushed the 30 year-old Norwegian all the way over eight pulsating rounds. Sadly for the 27 year-old Midlands, Thanderz was awarded a majority decision victory as judges Andrew Hook, Arne Ernstsen and Marita Waeroey scored the contest 78-74, 76-76 and 79-73 respectively.
“To be honest I’m really proud of my performance,” Ball explained. “On Saturday night I was awesome and no score cards will make me feel any differently. I stepped up over half a stone heavier than I usually fight at and my opponent was overweight at weigh in, she was drained and I knew she’d be putting the pounds on to refuel.
This was my first time wearing 8oz gloves, my first 8 round fight, my first pro fight away from home and my first time on a big television show and I held my own every round.
“I thought I out worked her and I used my movement as I was fitter. I’ve only had good feedback – people have said they thought I should have won or should have been a draw – I can’t change that now but in many ways, I feel like a winner.
“This has only made me more determined to succeed in the sport. I’ll be back.”