Jeremias Ponce (28-0, 18 KOs) had too good of an engine in stopping Lewis Ritson (21-2, 12 KOs) in the 10th round on Saturday night in an IBF light welterweight title eliminator at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle, England.
(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.)
Ponce knocked Ritson down three times in the 10th round before the fight was stopped by referee Steve Gray. The bout was halted at 1:29 of the 10th.
Ritson’s corner threw in the towel during the round, but the referee decided to let the contest contender. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a referee do that before tonight.
It was odd because Ritson needed to be pulled out of the fight in the 10th because he was taking a shellacking from the 24-year-old Ponce.
Ritson was hurt in the first round from a body shot from Ponce, and he never bounced back from that.
In the eighth round, Ponce hurt Ritson with an uppercut and teeing off on him. Ritson made it through the round, but he looked discouraged.
Ponce is now the IBF mandatory to Josh Taylor. That’ll be a big step up for Ponce when or if he gets a shot against Taylor.
Ritson needs to think about moving back down to 135 because he’s not the same fighter he once was since moving up to 140.
Other results on the Ritson vs. Ponce card:
Thomas Ward (30-0-1, 4 KOs) defeated Edy Valancia (17-6-6, 5 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision win in featherweight action. The judges scored it 97-93, 98-92, 98-92.
Heavyweight Alen Babic (7-0, 7 KOs) kept his perfect knockout streak alive with a third round knockout of Damian Chambers (11-2, 7 KOs).
Solomon Dacres (2-0, 1 KO) beat Alvaro Terrero (5-12-2, 3 KOs) by a fourth round TKO in heavyweight action.
Making his pro debut, junior middleweight Cyrus Pattinson (1-0, 1 KOs) scored a knockout in the second round over Yoncho Markov (4-3, 2 KOs).
“It was a strange one with the towel,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about Ritson’s dad throwing the towel in to have the fight stopped in the 10th.
“It was kind of ignored it. I don’t know if he saw or didn’t. Steve Gray is a fantastic referee, and then he picked the towel up and threw it out of the ring.
It was strange, but it was irrelevant with the way the fight was going and with the fight ended. Great performance by Jeremia Ponce.
He was just too good, too relentless, and too strong for Lewis Ritson tonight. In the first round, he hit him with a peach of a body shot and he never really recovered from that. He tried, but he got overrun in the end. It was a disappointing defeat.
“Is it the move to 140 lbs, he’s not carrying the same kind of power he did at 135 lbs, or is it at the level he’s operating?” said Hearn about Ritson.
“At 135 domestic level, he looked like a wrecking machine power-wise. Moved to 140, and hasn’t looked like the same puncher, but he has operated at a high level.
“Sometimes you can dominate at the British level, and when you get to the world level, you’re not there. Tonight was one of those nights.
“It was a fantastic pace, I was hoping Ponce would tire. After two rounds, Lewis was taking too much punishment and he didn’t have anything in the tank to push onto the championship rounds anyway.
“Ponce was young and fresh, he came to win, and he was the deserved winner,” said Hearn.