Undefeated former IBO world Jr. Welterweight champion Jeremias Ponce scored a tenth round knockout over a very “Game “ Lewis Ritson on Saturday night at the Eagles Community Arena in Newcastle, England. Before a pro hometown Ritson crowd of a thousand spectators, Ponce implemented a grueling strategy by forcing the fight in close early and focusing much of his attack to Ritson’s body with both hands. This in addition to a near non-stop pace Ponce put forth gave him an edge. In the first round a combination of body shots appeared to have Ritson in trouble, but he was able to survive. From this point on, the fight followed a consistent pattern, Ritson trying to land punches to keep Ponce from coming forward, but Ponce immediately answering any offense Ritson had with harder punches often in combination.
Remarkably, Ponce’s pace did not decrease as the fight progressed. By round ten, Ritson was seemingly behind on the scorecards, but it would be the consistent body attack that would pay off for the former world champion Ponce as a combination to the body dropped Ritson. In a move this observer has never seen before, Ritson’s corner threw in the towel to stop the fight, but this was ignored by Referee Steve Grey, who threw the towel out of the ring. This allowed the fight to continue, but the reprieve did not work to Ritson’s benefit as he would be dropped two more times, both as a result of body shots leading to Grey finally stopped the fight after the third knockdown in the round. Official time of the stoppage was 1:24 of round ten. Jeremias Ponce advances to 28-0, with 18 Knockouts. Lewis Ritson falls to 21-2, with 12 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Undefeated Jr. Featherweight competing as a Featherweight.Thomas Ward scored a convincing ten round unanimous decision over Edy Valencia. Ward showcased the art of Boxing of hit, but not be hit for the majority of the ten round bout. Although not the most entertaining of bouts, Ward’s Boxing ability was exciting to watch for the Boxing purist. The lone blip of the fight came in round five when Valencia landed a glancing left hook to the head of an off balance Ward that briefly knocked him down. Ward was not shaken by this and quickly regained control and was able to continue to box his way to a convincing unanimous decision victory. Official scores were 97-93, and 98-92 (On two scorecards) in favor of Ward. Thomas Ward advances to 30-0-1, with 4 Knockouts. Edy Valencia falls to 17-6-6, with 5 Knockouts.
Unbeaten Heavyweight Alen Babic scored a third round stoppage of Damian Chambers. The difference in punching power was immediately apparent as Babic immediately put Chambers on the defensive by trying to end the fight with one punch. Babic was credited with a knockdown in the first round when a left hook to the head staggered Chambers into the ropes that prevented him from going down. Although Chambers was very “Game” and tried to fight Babic on his terms, he simply did not have a punch to discourage him from coming forward. A hellacious left hook to the head turned Chambers around when he was against the ropes that convinced Referee Ron Kearney to stop the fight at 1:30 of round three. Alen Babic advances to 7-0, with 7 Knockouts. Damian Chambers falls to 11-2, with 7 Knockouts.
Decorated British amateur Jr. Middleweight Cyrus Pattinson successfully made the transition to the professional ranks by scoring a second round knockout of Yoncho Markov. In his professional debut, Pattinson showed seasoning that is often gained on the amateur level by implementing an attack to the head and body of Markov. The consistency of the attack as well as the combination punching of Pattinson ultimately wilted Markov’s resistance. In the second round a right hand to the head followed by one to the body dropped Markov. Markov was able to get up, but had no answer to keep Pattinson off of him. The same sequence occurred moments later sending Markov down for a second time. Struggling to get up and shaking his head in resignation, Markov was unable to beat the count. Official time of the stoppage was 1:57 of round two. Cyrus Pattinson advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Yoncho Markov falls to 4-3, with 0 Knockouts.
Heavyweight Solomon Dacres moved to 2-0 in his young career by scoring a fourth round stoppage of Alvaro Terrero. Dacres was in control from the opening bell and had particular success in landing his right hand to the head of Terrero. The gradual one-sided combat was finally halted by Referee Ron Kearney stopped the fight midway through the fourth round. Official time of the stoppage was 1:36 of round four. Solomon Dacres advances to 2-0, with 1 Knockout. Alvaro Terrero falls to 5-12-3, with 3 Knockouts.
Undefeated Women’s Welterweight April Hunter scored a four round decision over veteran Klaudia Vigh. A fight that Vigh tried to press from the outset, saw several heated exchanges of offense between the two fighters. As the bout progressed, Hunter gradually took the offensive tempo and appeared at moments to be on the verge of a possible stoppage, but Vigh was able to hang on to the final bell. As all non-title bouts that do not impact regional or world rankings are scored solely by the referee officiating a bout, Referee Victor Laughlin scored the bout 40-37 in favor of Hunter. April Hunter advances to 4-0, with 0 Knockouts. Klaudia Vigh falls to 3-28-1, with 2 Knockouts.
Welterweight Joe Laws began the evening by scoring a six round decision over Chris Adaway. Referee Ron Kearney scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Laws. Joe Laws advances to 10-1, with 5 Knockouts. Chris Adaway falls to 10-70-4, with 1 Knockout.
Although the victory for Jeremias Ponce now puts him as the mandatory challenger for recently crowned Undisputed Jr. Welterweight world champion Josh Taylor in the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) Jr. Welterweight ratings, the story that emerges out of this fight was the call of Referee Steve Grey to ignore the move of Lewis Ritson’s corner of throwing the towel in to stop the fight.
Quite frankly, the only time I can remember seeing something similar to this occurring in a Boxing ring was in the movie Diggstown. In the movie starring Louis Gossett, Jr. who played the role of Heavyweight “Honey” Roy Palmer, a near fifty year old boxer finds himself in the middle of a bet between two less than honorary characters played by James Woods and Bruce Dern.
While this observer will not give away the plot of the film nor the film’s premise in complete form, even though I highly recommend the film to anyone who has not seen it as it is one of my favorite films, the gist of the bet was that Palmer could defeat ten men in the span of twenty-four hours. As Palmer prepared to face opponent number nine after battling his way through eight opponents and suffering a beating, John Gillon, the main antagonist of the film, played by Bruce Dern, informs Gabriel Cain, portrayed by James Woods of a change of opponent, one that had not been previously agreed to, a fighter who the story depicted was the only man to defeat “Honey “ Roy. A fighter by the name of “Hammerhead “ Hagen.
As you might guess if you have not seen the film, Hagen, portrayed by Wille Green is sent in to finish Palmer off. As expected, Hagen administrators a brutal beating on an already exhausted Palmer, finally knocking him down to the canvas. In a corner scene between rounds Cain had told Palmer that he was going to stop the fight, Palmer insisted to continue saying “Don’t lose faith in me twice.”
Now on the canvas, Palmer struggling to get to his feet locks eyes with Cain who standing on the apron of the ring reaches for a towel that was draped over the corner, he yells out “Roy!” and throws the towel in. Angered, Palmer intercepts the towel and throws it right back at Cain the fight continued. Although this is where I will leave this brief synopsis as yours truly does not believe in the practice of “Spoiling,” it is important to keep in mind, Diggstown was a work of fiction and as such, once a director yells “End Scene,” it is over.
The difference between fiction and reality is, obviously there is significant danger associated with what goes on in the real Boxing ring. While Steve Grey’s decision could probably be summed up as “Referee’s discretion,” he will have to explain why he chose to ignore the wishes of a fighter’s corner that wanted the fight stopped.
If there is anything beyond a point of view that somehow the fighter, in this case Ritson, was still in position to win the fight on the scorecards, the bottom line here is Grey made the wrong decision. Although for the moment the decision does not seem as though it led to serious consequences medically for Ritson, it will be interesting to see if the British Boxing Board of Control, (BBBofC) the sole regulator of all combat sports events to be sanctioned throughout the United Kingdom, questions Grey on his decision and decides whether a disciplinary action might be necessary as usually when a towel is thrown in, the fight is stopped, regardless of a referee’s opinion. This is what should have been done here.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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