By Scott Gilfoid: The highly ranked #2 WBA light welterweight contender Lewis Ritson (20-1, 12 KOs) will be fighting two months from now against former IBF lightweight champion Miguel ‘ Puppet’ Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs) on Oct 17 on Sky Sports and DAZN at the Newcastle Arena in Newcastle, England.
This is a strange match-up for the 26-year-old Ritson, as the 33-year-old ‘Puppet’ has lost 3 out of his last 5 fights in the last two years, and he’s seen better days. You hate to second guess the match-makers for Ritson, but he should be fighting better guys than Vazquez at this point.
Ritson vs. Vazquez = underwhelming
Is it too much to ask to match Ritson against Regis Prograis or Ivan Baranchyk? if Ritson loses to one of those guys, then you at least know what level he’s at.
Boxing fans would prefer to have seen Ritson matched up against one of these guys than an over-the-hill Vazquez:
- Ivan Baranchyk
- Subriel Matias
- Regis Prograis
- Jack Catterall
- Jose Zepeda
- Pablo Cesar Cano
- Anthony Yigit
- Rances Barthelemy
- Viktor Postol
- Arnold Barbosa, Jr
- Maurice Hooker
The real question is would Ritson beat ANY of the above fighters? I’d say probably not, which you can argue is probably why none of them are facing him.
There’s not much for Ritson to gain in fighting the 33-year-old Vazquez now at this point, aside from getting a sure thing win to keep on track for an eventual title shot against WBA light welterweight champion Josh Taylor. Vazquez was never a puncher in his career even at 135, but his lack of power is even less pronounced now that he’s fighting at 140.
Robbie Davies Jnr gave Ritson trouble last October
Ritson is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision over Robbie Davies Jnr. (19-2, 13 KOs) last October in Newcastle. That fight was more competitive than it should have been. If Ritson had true world class potential, this should have been a slam dunk win for him over Robbie, but instead he really had to struggle to win.
Davies exposed Ritson’s lack of defense by putting hands on him throughout this 12 round war. The fight basically showed that Ritson isn’t ready for some of the 140-lb sluggers at 140 like Prograis, Baranchyk and Subriel Matias. It would still be fun to watch Ritson fight one of those guys, wouldn’t it?
Ritson: Vazquez is the type of fight I need
“That’s the sort of fights we need now to get the best experience at that level. Get past Vazquez and I’m knocking on the door,” said Ritson. “He is a world class fighter who has fought at the very top level of the sport and continues to do so, I need to be on my A game to get the win here,” said Ritson.
You hate to disagree with Ritson, but against Vazquez won’t prepare him in any way to face IBF/WBA 140-lb champion Josh Taylor or WBC/WBO champ Jose Ramirez. You got to do a lot better than Vazquez if you want to prepare for Taylor and Ramirez. With 2 defeats in his last 3 fights, Vazauez is NO longer world class.
Vazquez is NOT ranked in the top 15 any of the four sanctioning bodies at this time, and he likely never will be again. As such, Ritson isn’t doing much in facing Vazquez. You can argue this is just a foxhole level fight for Ritson to hide out from the talented light welterweights like Prograis, Baranchyk and Matias to avoid getting beaten – AGAIN – before he challenges for a world title.
Ritson already got exposed by Francesco Patera (20-3, 8 KOs) in losing a 12 round split decision to him in October 2018. Unfortunately, Ritson never attempted to avenge the loss to Patera, which is strange, because the talented light welterweights like Prograis surely would have insisted on a rematch. How about Ritson putting in some effort to try and avenge his loss to Patera already.