Ritson was dealt a huge blow in his pursuit of world title.
Lewis Ritson’s world title dream, and possibly his career, are in tatters following a heartbreaking stoppage against the brilliant Jeremias Ponce.
The Argentinian entered the ring a significant underdog but he demonstrated early on he was more than a match for Ritson as he becomes the mandatory challenger for Josh Taylor’s IBF super lightweight belt.
From the first bell, Ponce was in Ritson’s face and he set a frightening pace that seemed impossible to maintain. Ritson was hurt with a body shot in round one but he did grow into the fight as it progressed, despite the fact that he was losing rounds purely on work rate.
After the halfway mark, where Ponce appeared to hold a handy lead, the visitor increased his attacks and Ritson was visibly hurt on more than one occasion as he kept retreating to the ropes for refuge. At the end of round nine, his father and trainer, Dave Ritson, warned his son that he was only giving him one more round but Ponce wouldn’t even allow him that.
A sickening body shot at the start of the tenth session floored Ritson, which prompted his corner to throw in towel. Incredibly, referee Steve Gray dismissed the gesture and let the action continue but after more punishment from Ponce, assaults that dropped Ritson twice more, Gray finally saw sense and stopped the action.
Ponce can now look forward to a world title shot, and based on this performance, it’s a reward that is fully deserved. The 140-pound division is crying out for characters and Ponce can be an interesting addition to the mix.
For a full recap of a dramatic night in Newcastle, please read below.
Is Ponce slowing down? He still does enough to win the round thanks to an excellent last 30 seconds but there's an obvious drop in his output. Could Ritson be waiting to take over in second half? 10-9 Ponce.
Martin Ward had things his own way for large portions in his bout with Edy Mercado. The Mexican did score a knockdown in round five but that was brief highlight rather than the norm. Ward will now set his sights on a big fight at featherweight after winning 98-92 twice and 97-93.
Alen Babic found a stunning left hook in round number three to halt the brief momentum of Damien Chambers. After enjoying a solid start and scoring an early count, Babic got reckless and allowed Chambers back into the fight. The Manchester man was doing well and finding the target often but one shot from Babic changed everything. The Croatian moves to 7-0.
The Newcastle crowd is going nuts for Cyrus Pattinson. He's started his pro career brilliantly with a second round win over Bulgaria's Yoncho Markov. Pattinson was searching for the stoppage from the opening bell and after some good work to both the head and body, he gets the perfect beginning to his professional journey.
Solomon Dacres scores first career stoppage by halting Alvaro Terrero
Solomon Dacres goes to 2-0 with a very professional display. The Birmingham heavyweight used his jab to set up heavy attcaks and Alvaro Terrero could only take so much. The stoppage comes halfway through round number four.
April Hunter lights up local crowd with points win
Joe Laws returned from a bad defeat against Rylan Charlton last year to win against Chris Adaway. Laws was made to go the six-round distance in Newcastle but he takes a 60-54 verdict on the scorecards.