Ritson vs Davies Extended Preview
Lewis Ritson (23-2 13KOs) and Ohara Davies (24-2 17KOs) will enter the ring in Newcastle on Saturday night for a chance to further stake their claim for a shot at the WBA Super Lightweight Title. The eliminator for the title, held by Dominican, Alberto Puello, will put the winner in prime position for a possible final eliminator, or mandatory position.
Both men have had up and down professional careers, with both taking losses after being highly touted as young professionals. In Ritsons case, ‘The Sandman’ was signed to Matchroom from debut, selling huge quantities of tickets in his hometown of Newcastle. Ritson however was not the overhyped ticket seller you will sometimes come across in the sweet science.
After two and a half years as a pro Ritson challenged for the British Lightweight title against champion Robbie Barrett in the October of 2017. Ritson stopped Barrett in the 7th round in Manchester. And went on to win the title outright in record time, stopping Joe Murray in 1, Scott Cardle in 2, and the previously unbeaten Paul Hyland in 1. However it was the step up to European level that proved to be a step too far for Ritson, losing a split decision to Belgium’s Francesco Patera, in October 2018.
After the shock defeat Ritson decided it was time to move up to Super Lightweight, believing he would be more effective at 140lbs. Ritson reeled off 3 straight wins before a bout against former World Champion Miguel Vazquez in October 2020. A fight that was perhaps the worst robbery seen on British soil this century, Ritson was awarded a split decision, despite seemingly losing at least 10 of the 12 rounds.
Ritson then went into an IBF eliminator against Argentina’s Jermias Ponce. Ponce broke down and battered the geordie hero, stopping him in the 10th, leading to Matchroom releasing him. Ritson has since had two solid victories leading into the bout this weekend.
The very vocal Ohara Davies has never really found a home in his career. Signing with Matchroom early in his career, he was built up slowly. Winning a WBC Silver Title in 2016. Never shy of saying controversial things to sell a fight, Ohara went into a hotly anticipated domestic showdown with Scotaman Josh Taylor in July of 2017. The bout was deemed a true 50/50 going in, but in reality it was anything but, with Taylor running through the Londoner, with Davies appearing to quit in the 7th.
‘Two Tanks’ would return just 2 months later, in a bout in Liverpool against Scouser Tom Farrell, Davies caused much controversy before this bout, making comments about the Sun newspaper. Davies would win this fight by 6th round stoppage. However his comments rather forces Eddie Hearn to cut ties with him. Davies would then make the move to Queensberry, with a bout against unbeaten Jack Catterall targeted. Davies would win two bouts before the Catterall fight. Catterall would win a unanimous decision in a fight that was forgettable at best. Since then Davies has won the MTK Golden Contract tournament.
Elsewhere on the card Thomas Patrick Ward will take on Uzbek, Otabek Kholmatov in a final eliminator for the WBA Featherweight Title, held by Maurico Lara. However the winner will probably have to wait for their shot, with Leigh Wood looking to activate his rematch clause against Lara.
Former British, Commonwealth, and European Champion, Lee McGregor will look to get back to winning ways in an 8 round tick over bout. It will be the Edinburgh man’s first bout since drawing against Diego Alberto Ruiz in February 2022.
A true 50/50 between two fringe world level British fighters in a domestic dust up, and a Brit taking on a feared Uzbek challenger for a mandatory position. THe latest instalment in the saga that is British boxing is almost guaranteed to deliver fireworks, on a must see night in Newcastle.