Former British lightweight champion Lewis Ritson believes that a prolonged time in the gym will be an advantage in his fight against Miguel Vazquez.
The Newcastle boxer had been set to fight Vazquez in April, but coronavirus restrictions pushed back the bout to June and then to Oct. 17.
While disappointed to miss out on a fight so far since the pandemic, he has used the time with Neil Fannon to hone his game.
“It has probably benefitted me more than most other fighters," said Ritson.
"It has really allowed for us to gel and work on other areas of our game. Rather than wondering when a fight date may drop, despite the cancellations we have always had an end date in mind which has allowed for me to stay disciplined and sharp throughout.
"I've been in the gym the full year training hard and staying ready for whatever happens next. The start of lockdown gave me a chance to slow the pace down a little bit and work on a lot more of the technical stuff. I feel like I've improved a couple of levels compared to how I boxed against Robbie Davies Jr. We knew that we would get a new date confirmed eventually, we just had to stay in the gym."
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Ritson is ranked No. 2 by the WBA, leaving him close to another title fight after previously contesting the European lightweight belt in 2018. He sees former IBF champion Vazquez as the ideal opponent as he attempts to step up.
“If I bring my A game, I’ll be too much for Miguel and will stop him. I think he’s probably a little bit on the slide whereas I’m still on the way up, so we’re meeting bang in the middle. This is the exact type of fight where I can gain more experience to move to the next step. He’s been there and done it. We know what he is all about and what he will bring.
"Beating Robbie proved I'm at that European level, now it's time to prove I can go to the interim world level stage with a good win against Vazquez. That will pave the way for more big fights. We never take anyone lightly and we definitely haven't taken Vazquez lightly. If I bring my A game, I'll have more than enough to beat him."
Ritson vs. Vazquez can be seen on Sky Sports in the U.K. and DAZN in the U.S.