“TOON! TOON!” will ring out at a boxing match once again this week as Matchroom stage an all British showdown at the Newcastle arena on Saturday night. Reigning and defending British and European light-welterweight Champion Robbie Davies Jr takes on hometown hero and former British Lightweight champion Lewis ‘The Sandman’ Ritson in a clash sure to live up to its already fiery hype. Everybody has seen the backstage altercation in Liverpool that preludes this fight, with the distinctive clash of accents and personalities. Robbie calling Ritson a “Melt” and a “Maggot” in his cutting scouse and Lewis responding ” Nah Nah Am not gawen anywheeeere” in his usual dull geordie. Safe to say this lit a fire under the British boxing public who soon started calling for this fight and as he is often one to do, Eddie Hearn, delivered it. This is a classic boxer vs brawler stylistic match up and could prove to be a world title eliminator for the winner of the World Boxing Super Series final between Prograis and Taylor, making this one of the biggest domestic clashes of the year.
In this, the next of my tale of the tape series, I will assess the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters and how they can look to win in Newcastle at the weekend.
The Red Corner: Robbie Davies Jr
Height: 5″11 (181cm)
Weight: 140lbs (10 Stone)
Reach: 71 inch (167cm)
Record: 19-1 (13 KO’s)
Best Attribute: Robbie Davies will go into this fight with extreme confidence coming off his title-winning effort against Joe Hughes and his tick over demolition of Micheal Dufek. As well as his confidence I believe that in this fight it is Robbie’s Footwork that will be his best attribute when facing Lewis Ritson. Although his fight with Hughes was very close, it was a fencing match of footwork and Jabs, something that Robbie Davies does very well but Ritson doesn’t. The way Robbie measures distance and reads his opponent’s feet to anticipate where he needs to be in order to both avoid and deliver punches is, in my opinion, only inferior to IBF champion Josh Taylor in this weight class. His ability to move in and out of range of Ritson’s power shots will be very important come Saturday night. He will need to use his feet to hold Ritsons famous onslaughts at bay, to be the matador to Ritson’s bull. He will, in my opinion, be able to use his feet to frustrate and neutralise the charging Ritson and walk him onto his own stinging shots. shots, as Robbie was quick to remind us at the fight week press conference, have garnered him 1 more knockout than Ritson in the same amount of fights.
Key to Victory: Ritson is someone who has a clear blueprint as to how to beat him, as laid out by Francesco Patera, it is simple; don’t get caught up in the atmosphere of Newcastle arena, weather the early storm and then box clever for the remaining rounds. This Patience and ability to adhere to the game plan will be imperative to beating Ritson. If Robbie loses this patience and gets drawn into a firefight with Ritson he could be vulnerable to Ritson’s much talked about punch power. Ritson also struggled with his cardio and if Robbie retains patience he could well exploit this down the stretch as he has proven his ability to box well for 12 rounds. I think this will be especially apt as at the last press conference Ritson looked more like a chunky middleweight than a 140lbs fighter. This is party weight Ritson will have to lose before the weigh-in, and drastic weight loss on his part will only benefit Robbie if he remains patient and boxes well into the later rounds.
The Blue Corner: Lewis Ritson
Height: 5″10 (178cm)
Weight: 140lbs (10 Stone)
Reach: 70 inch (170cm)
Record: 19-1 (12 KO’s)
Best Attribute: I think Lewis Ritson’s beast attribute in this fight is not his much-mentioned punching power but instead the way he deploys it. His Chaotic Style is the thing that he will try and use to draw Robbie Davies into a gunfight and land the type of shots he wants to. A perfect example of this style is in his fight with Paul Hyland Jr, the chaos comes from Ritson exposing his chin to tempt his opponent into thinking they will be able to plant their feet and hit him. However, when they do this Ritson comes into his element and uses his speed and power and erratic footwork to exchange shots landing unorthodox lead hooks and overhand rights, cutting angles and subverting his opponents guard. Ritson will have to draw Robbie into his world of wild swings and open chins in order to win, despite the clear dangers this will pose.
Key to Victory: I think the key to Lewis Ritson having his hand raised on Saturday night is for him to inhabit the spirit of the Newcastle crowd and Provoke Robbie Davies Jr into fighting his fight. Although Ritson was calm and reserved at the fight week press conference if I were a member of team Ritson I would be encouraging the opposite. I feel that in a technical boxing match Ritson is totally out skilled and outgunned but if he can make Robbie angry and emotional he can draw him into the kind of fight I just mentioned. The atmosphere will be electric and if Robbie is angry this will only prove further annoyance and give him more incentive to prove the crowd wrong and go for the finish, something that will play into Ritson’s hands. We have seen Robbie get emotional and wound up by Ritson before in and around the aforementioned backstage altercation and if he can do it once he can do it again. Therefore I think it advisable for Lewis to be vocal, confrontational and confident during the weigh-ins and throughout what is left of the lead up to the fight.
Prediction: I think this is a very easy fight to call. Robbie Davies Jr is a career junior Welterweight with proven knockout power and boxing ability at that weight class. Lewis Ritson is a British level lightweight who because of frame and lifestyle can no longer make that weight. Although this is indeed the boxer vs the puncher the so-called boxer has more knockouts than the puncher! I personally think we will see as soon as the fight starts that Robbie Davies Jr is Bigger, Stronger, Sharper, and better equipt to be competing in this weight class and at this level than Ritson. I predict the black and white army will be going home disappointed as Robbie Davies Jr steals the show putting a clinic on Ritson and either stops him late in the fight or more likely takes a wide 12 round points decision.
Written by Ewan Breeze – Rebel Boxing for SimBoxx 🥊
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