By: Ste Rowen
In a night highlighted by domestic rivalries being fought, Lewis Ritson and Scott Fitzgerald came out on top in their lightweight and junior-middleweight bouts respectively. Ritson scored a unanimous victory over Robbie Davies Jr, whilst Fitzgerald kept his unbeaten run going also with a unanimous decision win over Ted Cheeseman.
It’s not often the phrase ‘You maggot’ ignites a rivalry but tonight’s main event in Newcastle, England between lightweights Lewis Ritson and Robbie Davies Jr, not solely, but in part was born out of Davies Jr calling out Ritson in his own unique way. Davies, 19-1 (13KOs) heading into tonight, looked confident as he was booed into the ring in Newcastle, knowing that the crowd was going to be on his back from, not just the first bell, but his very first steps into the Newcastle Arena.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
‘The Sandman’ Ritson, a Newcastle native, was drenched in atmosphere with a smile painted on his face as he made his ring-walk. But the home-fighter was on the back foot at the ring of the first bell, with Davies Jr getting in the harsher shots but Lewis began to impose himself from around the second and third rounds onwards.
Liverpudlian, Robbie found a second wind in the middle rounds as Ritson began to lay off on the intense pressure he’d set but waned again as the rounds ticked on. Bloodied and bruised both men took the fight to the other in the final round. Lewis boxed well at the beginning of the round but the final stretch turned into a mixture of tit for tat power punches, with a bit of cuddling to add to it as both men made sure they heard the final bell.
The judge’s scorecards returned as, 117-112, 116-112 (x2) all for Lewis ‘The Sandman’ Ritson, who improves to 19-1 (12KOs) and puts himself in line for a world title shot next.
‘‘I said this was my coming out party and I was absolutely right.
I tried to fight him for the first six rounds, I knew I couldn’t do it for the full twelve…It takes two to tango and Robbie deserves praise.’’
In the middle of Davies Jr’s interview Lewis called for the crowd to stop booing in a show of respect to a man he’d clearly settled his bad blood with.
In the highly anticipated co-feature, British junior middleweights Scott Fitzgerald and Lonsdale belt holder, Ted Cheeseman fought a twelve round, all-action bout that saw Fitzgerald rip the belt from the now former holder, via a decision.
Cheeseman, 15-1-1 (9KOs) took the role of the boxer early on whilst Fitzgerald seemed to be searching for the finisher, whether that be the one shot or a swift combination of punches. British champion Cheeseman, defending his belt for the second time held his ground well off the back foot throughout most of the bout, whilst Scott seemed the keener of the two to take the fight to Cheeseman and demonstrate the excitement and power he brought to his previous domestic rivalry victory over Anthony Fowler earlier this year.
Fitzgerald rained down a floury of heavy shots in the 11th to drop ‘The Big Cheese’, firing off a crucial left hand to leave Cheeseman tumbling into the ropes. In the 12th, Scott went hell for leather as Ted continued to attempt to box off the back foot and it seemed to work as he made it to the final bell despite the ferocity of Fitzgerald’s pace.
But it wasn’t to be for ‘The Big Cheese’ as the final scorecards came back, slightly controversially it seemed to some, as, 116-113 (x2), 115-113 all to the unbeaten man, Scott Fitzgerald, leaving Cheeseman to jump out of the ring in disgust.
‘‘It wasn’t anything like how I wanted it but we’ve got it’’ Fitzy, now 14-0 (9KOs), said post-fight. ‘‘Next time you’ll see a better version.
I definitely won the last three/four rounds, but I definitely fell behind. It was a close fight…I’d like to be out again before the end of the year, let’s get the Brian Rose fight.’’