Jr. Welterweight contender Lewis Ritson scored an unimpressive twelve round split decision over former IBF Lightweight world champion Miguel Vazquez on Saturday night at the East of London Arena in Peterborough, England. For twelve rounds, Ritson had trouble dealing with the lateral movement and combination punching of Vazquez. Although there was not much power behind Vazquez’ punches, the former champion consistently dictated the fight and had Ritson following him around the ring. Despite his inability to make Vazquez a stationary target, Ritson was more effective when he was able to let his hands go. It was this that proved to be the deciding factor as two of three official judges scored the fight in Ritson’s favor giving him a split decision victory even though Vazquez wad the more active of the fighters throughout. Official scores were: 115-113 (Vazquez), and 116-113, 117-111 in favor of Lewis Ritson. Lewis Ritson advances to 22-1, with 12 Knockouts. Miguel Vazquez falls to 42-10, with 16 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Jr. Featherweight Marc Leach scored a ten round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Qais Ashfaq. A difficult fight to watch due to contrasting styles not meshing, Leach landed a combination to the head of Ashfaq in round four that sent him down. While this was a flash knockdown, it did provide Leach an edge on the scorecards in what was a closely fought battle. A second knockdown from a left hand sent Ashfaq down for a second time in round seven. The two knockdowns in a fight where neither fighter was able to stand out clearly from the other, otherwise proved to be the difference in giving Leach the unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 95-93, 96-93, and 96-92 all in favor of Marc Leach. Marc Leach advances to 15-1-1, with 3 Knockouts. Qais Ashfaq falls to 8-1, with 3 Knockouts.
Also in the Jr. Featherweight division, unbeaten prospect Thomas Ward fought to an eight round technical split draw with Thomas Essomba. The ebb and flow switched periodically throughout with Ward having the upper hand when the two fighters were at distance while Essomba had and advantage when the two fighters exchanged punches as well as an overall edge in terms of aggression. In round seven, an accidental clash of heads opened a deep gash over the left eye of Ward that ultimately caused the fight to be stopped after eight complete rounds of the scheduled ten round bout. Official scores were 88-85 (Essomba), 88-84 (Ward), and 86-86 resulting in the split decision draw. Thomas Ward advances to 29-0-1, with 4 Knockouts. Thomas Essomba advances to 10-6-1, with 4 Knockouts.
In a clash of unbeaten Welterweights, Rylan Charlton scored an impressive third round knockout over previously undefeated Joe Laws. Charlton hurt Laws early in the first round with a left hook to the body. This served as a set up for a flush left hook to the head that sent Laws down later in the round. Charlton seemed to have a clear edge in terms of punching power over Laws and he continued to administer punishment in the second round. The third round saw a right hand to the head of Laws send him down hard on the canvas. Although Laws got up on unsteady legs and it appeared justifiable for the fight to be stopped, it was allowed to continue and an uppercut to the head sent Laws down for a third and final time as he was unable to beat the count. Official time of the stoppage was 1:39 of round three. Rylan Charlton advances to 6-0-1, with 3 Knockouts. Joe Laws falls to 9-1, with 5 Knockouts.
Lightweight Kane Baker scored a bit of an upset by scoring a six round decision over previously unbeaten prospect Meshech Speare. Baker, who fought only thirteen days ago in losing a decision to undefeated prospect Aqib Fiaz, took this fight against Speare on short notice and took full advantage of the opportunity. Baker frequently got the better of the action on the inside and made it ugly. Although Speare’s best moments in the bout came when he was able to get his punches off first and keep Baker at distance, he simply did not throw with consistency and this allowed Baker to outwork him and earn a convincing decision victory. Kane Baker advances to 14-7, with 0 Knockouts. Meshech Speare falls to 5-1, with 3 Knockouts.
In a Women’s Featherweight bout that opened the evening Ellie Scotney successfully made her professional debut with a six round decision over Bec Connolly. Scotney dictated the fight with her hand speed from the start. Scotney’s timing and punch placement led to a knockdown in round three with a right hook, left hook combination. Connolly had her moments in the latter rounds landing some effective body punches, but the effects of the punishment she sustained throughout ultimately caused a bad cut over her right eye. Ellie Scotney advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Bec Connolly falls to 3-8, with 0 Knockouts.
This card, which was promoted by promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing did see a few unexpected results in some prospects suffering their first losses as well as one being held to a draw. The story of this card will likely be however, a somewhat controversial decision in the main event between Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez. While not the most entertaining bout, the former world champion Vazquez, who some might contend could be in the twilight of his career put forth a solid performance against a fighter in Lewis Ritson who might be on the fringe of world title contention.
While Ritson did earn the biggest win of his career to date, some may argue that the decision should have gone the other way and that is not necessarily the impression that a would be contender would want to leave as they look to continue positioning themselves for a potential opportunity to fight for a world championship. Nevertheless, sometimes a win is still a win and it will be what Lewis Ritson does going forward that will likely determine how soon he will challenge for a world championship. Although he may not have been as impressive as he would have liked to have been against a fighter of the caliber of Miguel Vazquez, the experience Ritson gained in this fight will only serve him well as he continues his career.
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