By Scott Gilfoid: In a surprising result, Francesco Patera (20-3, 7 KOs) defeated the highly popular previously unbeaten Lewis Ritson (17-1, 11 KOs) by a 12 round split decision to win the vacant European Boxing Union (EBU) lightweight title on Saturday night at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, UK.
The scores were 116-112, 116-112 for the 25-year-old Patera, and 116-112 for Ritson. Boxing News 24 scored the fight for Patera. Ritson gassed out badly in the second half of the fight and was dominated by the Belgium fighter Patera.
Ritson was hurt in the 5th round. From there, it was all Patera, as Ritson couldn’t come back with enough energy and inventiveness to get the decision. There’s a lesson to be learned here for Ritson. He needs to stop slugging with his opposition and start boxing. He lacks the power and the talent to crush the better fighters in the lightweight division like he’d been doing against the fodder that his promoter Eddie Hearn had been throwing into the ring with him.
It isn’t that surprising that Ritson lost the fight, because he’d been fighting horrible opposition in his first 17 fights as a pro, and he was just bum rushing everybody in a crude manner looking to stomp them.
Ritson is a good fighter, but he’s basic with poor stamina and a nasty habit of loading up on everything he throws. He should have been throwing combinations tonight and sticking with his jab against Patera.
It was clear that as soon as Ritson fought someone with boxing skills, power and a good chin, he would be soundly beaten, which is what happened tonight. Ritson met his match against the European level Patera. You can only imagine what would have happened to him if he’d fought a talented lightweight like Mikey Garcia, Robert Easter Jr. or Vasyl Lomachenko. The top super featherweights Alberto Machado, Miguel Berchelt, Tevin Farmer and Masayuki Ito would likely beat Ritson as well.
”Patera boxed the perfect fight,” Ritson’s promoter Eddie Hearn said to Sky Sports after the fight. ”Lewis looked a bit tired and drained. You go back to the drawing board now and you find out how hungry you are. It’s a big blow for Ritson, but he’s young. He will come again. He will be devastated,” Hearn said.
Patera wants to go after a world title. However, it’s quite possible that Hearn will use his deep pockets to schedule a rematch against Ritson.
Ritson fought well in the first half of the fight when he was fully of energy and fighting aggressively. However, once Ritson gassed out, Patera came on and took over the fight.
It wouldn’t be a good idea for Hearn to put Ritson back in with Patera in a rematch anytime soon because he’s not ready for a second fight with him. Ritson needs to improve a lot before he takes him on again if he ever does.
Ritson came into the fight tonight a big underdog. The odds-makers clearly didn’t know what they were doing in making Ritson the favorite in the fight instead of Patera. Ritson was too power happy in the fight, which is a product of all the mismatches that Hearn has set him up with. If Ritson had fought some good fighters by now, he would have realied that he can’t just slug, but that’s what happens when your promoter matches you soft for the first three years of your career. Oh well.
“The first few rounds I thought it was easy and maybe got too complacent. I got hurt and then couldn’t come back,” Ritson said to Sky Sports.
In undercard results on the Patera vs. Ritson card:
Heavyweight David Allen (15-4-2, 12 KOs) destroyed ittle known Samir Nebo (10-3-1, 10 KOs) in the 1st round with a nice KO. The bout lasted a little over one minute before it was halted 65 seconds. The win for Allen was his second in a row since losing to Tony Yoka by a 10th round knockout last June. Allen had defeated Nick Webb by a 4th round knockout last July.
Light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi (8-0, 6 KOs) defeated journeyman Tony Averlant (26-11-2, 5 KOs) by a 1st round knockout.
Light welterweight Robbie Davies (17-1, 12 KOs) defeated Glenn Foot (23-4, 7 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant British 140 lb title. The scores were 119-109, 118-110 and 117-117.
Greg Glover TKO 8 Simon Valily
Hosea Burton TKO 1 Saidou Sall
Anthony Fowler TKO 5 Gabor Gorbics
Thomas Patrick Ward TKO 1 Tom Tran