Bad Blood: Robbie Davies Jr vs Lewis Ritson
By Will Collett
Come the 19th October, the Utilita Arena will be bouncing as Robbie Davies Jr takes on bitter rival Lewis Ritson in his hometown of Newcastle.
The fight, being held at super lightweight, will be a chance for Ritson to establish himself in his new division against a well known domestic rival.
After numerous social media altercations, tensions arose between the two fighters and they have been on a collision course ever since. They both fought on the same undercard earlier in the year, and in the post-fight interview publicly laid down the gauntlet for each other. This meant that from then on, the fight being made was inevitable.
There had been mention of the fight being made previously, however, Davies Jr. claimed the short notice would not allow him to make the weight safely.
Ritson unexpectedly viewed this as an excuse, which led to further animosity between the pair. Davies Jr., unfazed by the prospect of having to go to Ritson’s backyard, has claimed that his decision to fight him in Newcastle stems from his confidence in being able to claim victory.
Taking another shot at his opponent, Ritson stated this is actually because Davies Jr. doesn’t sell out in Liverpool.
In two weeks time, they have the chance to settle their differences as they compete in an official eliminator for the WBA super lightweight world title.
In front of his home crowd, Ritson will be looking to secure a win in impressive fashion, in a hope to keep boxing alive in the north east of England.
The man in the opposite corner, Davies Jr. has made his way up the WBA world rankings after securing both the British and European titles.
With Davies Jr. in the top ten in both the WBA and the IBF rankings, it is not just bragging rights at stake.
Motivated by the challenge posed by Ritson, he is preparing for a consecutive knockout victory and provided he gets the win in Newcastle, will be pursuing a world title shot for his next fight.
A man all too familiar with vicious knock-outs is ‘The Sandman’ Lewis Ritson. Having demolished all those he came across at domestic level at lightweight, Ritson won the British title outright in impressive fashion. A total of four rounds over three fights was all it took.
The first hurdle in his career came in the form of Francesco Patera, when he stepped up to challenge for the vacant EBU European title and was handed his first loss.
This split decision loss had a huge impact on his career, putting an end to the whirlwind of hype that surrounded his name. Seemingly unbeatable before, and ‘a hype job’ afterwards, it was time for a move up in weight.
He has since had two fights in his new division but looks to add the first recognised name to his record at 140lbs.It is not uncommon that a dramatic build up will lead to an anticlimactic fight, however this bout has all the ingredients for a toe to toe war.
Another fight on the card that looks to steal the show is chief support, Ted Cheeseman vs Scott Fitzgerald.
Following Fitzgerald’s victory over Anthony Fowler in March this year, he has become a sort of cult hero, amassing a new and growing fan base. A combination of his antics on Instagram as well as his impressive performance has afforded him a demigod status amongst British fight fans.
His latest win has seen him emerge as a top contender domestically in the super welterweight division and a win over British champion Ted Cheeseman would cement that.
Despite being champion, many seem to be writing Cheeseman off in this fight following his last two less than impressive performances. His fight with Sergio Garcia for the European super welterweight title left a lot of people feeling uneasy as the fight progressed, with Cheeseman receiving an uncomfortable amount of punishment.
His next fight against Kieran Conway laboured to a draw, and with many expecting an easy nights work for Ted, this saw him draw much criticism.
In the aftermath of his most recent fights, it came out that Cheeseman was having his own personal problems, and whilst he never made any excuses, it is clear to see that these would have had a significant impact on his performances. Now fully focused on the task in hand, he has made clear he is ready for a twelve round war.
Having more experience in the professional ranks, Cheeseman is tried and tested over the full distance, whilst question marks surround Fitzgerald’s engine due to him not having competed in a twelve round contest before. If the Fowler performance was anything to go by however, there should be little concern, as there was no sign of him gassing then.
Cheeseman’s resumé as a pro is the better of the two, with him having beaten established fighters on his emergence to the British scene. This, however, is Fitzgerald’s first time challenging for a British title and so he will be fully motivated. If this fight were to happen before the Garcia fight, I think most would have Cheeseman as favourite, but as is the way with boxing, so much can happen in one fight and now the fight is largely seen as a 50/50 with some edging it to the ‘MadMan’ Fitzgerald.
Further down the card, Ricky Summers, John Docherty, Savannah Marshall and Cheeseman’s previous opponent Conway all feature. With both the main event and the co-main event shaping up into what could be domestic clashes of the year, this night definitely one to watch.