By Tim Royner: Sam Eggington (23-4, 15 KOs) will be fighting Hassan Mwakinyo (11-2, 7 KOs) in a scheduled 10 round fight, and unbeaten lightweight Lewis Ritson (16-0, 10 KOs) will be facing journeyman Oscar Amador (10-7, 1 KOs) in an 8 round fight this Saturday night on September 8 on the Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas card at the Arena Birmingham, in Birmingham, England.
It’s unknown why Eggington and Ritson’s promoter Eddie Hearn has decided on matching them against such weak competition. Perhaps because of his decision to add the two to the Khan vs. Vargas fight card on short notice that he didn’t have time to find quality opposition.
Eggington, 24, seems to be taking a backwards step with his career in fighting Mwakinyo, who comes from Tanzania and has done precious little with his three-year pro career. Mwakinyo was recently beaten by Lendrush Akopian (9-0, 4 KOs) by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision last year in December. Mwakinyo rebounded from hat loss in beating journeyman Ambokile Chusa (8-10-2, 4 KOs) by a six round unanimous decision earlier this year on March 10. Mwakinyo was also beaten two years ago in losing to journeyman Shabani Kaoneka (7-12-7, 4 KOs).
Eggington has won his last two fights since losing to Mohamed Mimoune by a 12 round split decision in 2017. That fight, as well as Eggington’s 12 round unanimous decision loss to Bradley Skeete in 2016, showed that he’s never going to be a major player at 147 and 154. The talent just isn’t there with Eggington, and the way he’s being matched by Hearn seems to reflect that he realizes how limited he is.
The 24-year-old Ritson (16-0, 10 KOs) has looked good recently in destroying Paul Hyland Jr., Scott Cardle, Joe Murray and Robbie Barrett. Ritson has been knocking everybody out lately, but he’s been facing domestic level opposition. Ritson hasn’t shown the type of talent that would make you believe that he’s ready to be thrown into the ring with IBF/WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia or WBA champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Even WBO lightweight champion Jose Pedraza would likely be a bridge too far for Ritson. The Nicaraguan Amador, 24, has lost seven out of his last eleven fights since 2014. Amador is obviously being brought in for an easy win for Ritson to showcase his boxing ability. It would be nice to see Ritson fight someone like Anthony Crolla, Ricky Burns, Javier Fortuna, Robert Easter Jr., Daud Yordan, Devin Haney or Ryan Martin. Those are good opponents for someone like Martin to be fighting. It doesn’t look like Ritson is ready for those types of fighters yet.
Besides his fight next Saturday night against Amador, Ritson is scheduled to fight Francesco Patera (19-3, 7 KOs) for the vacant EBU European lightweight title on October 13 at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. Ritson needs to be moved up against world class opposition at this point rather than held back to face weak opposition.