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Lewis Ritson vs. Jeremias Ponce on June 12th

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Lewis Ritson will face Jeremias Ponce in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Lightweight World Title at the Vertu Motors Arena, Newcastle on Saturday June 12, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US and more than 200 countries and territories.

‘The Sandman’ won a controversial split decision against Miguel Vazquez behind closed doors at the East of England Arena in Peterborough last time out in October to claim the vacant WBA Intercontinental Super-Lightweight Title and improve his record to 21-1 (12 KOs).

In his last fight in front of his Newcastle faithful, Ritson produced a career-best performance to beat bitter rival Robbie Davies Jr in an enthralling Fight of the Year candidate, and the 27-year-old says he can’t wait to get back in front of his fanatical support against undefeated Argentinian Ponce.

The 24-year-old, from Buenos Aires, won the South American Title in 2019 by outpointing fellow Argentine Leonardo Amitrano, and became IBO Champion later that year with a points win in Berlin over Germany’s Rico Muller on his debut outside the Americas.

He boxed twice in late 2020, both all-Argentinian confrontations, firstly stopping Ruben Lopez in 90 seconds before being pushed all the way by southpaw Jonathan Eniz over 10 tough rounds, and heads into his showdown with Geordie favourite Ritson on the back of a 27-fight winning streak.

“It was a strange experience behind closed doors last time so I’m thrilled fans will be returning, it’s always loud in Newcastle and I’m proud to have them behind me cheering me on,” said Ritson.

“Ponce likes to come forward, throw a few good body shots and he’s got a decent jab. We’re expecting and have prepared for a tough fight and it should be given what’s at stake.

“I’m one or two fights away from being World Champion now, that’s the dream for any boxer and to be in touching distance now is spurring me on with this Final Eliminator locked in.”

“I’m really looking forward to the fight,” said Ponce. “I’ve already become World Champion in Europe when I won the IBO crown against Rico Mueller and after my win against Ritson on June 12 I am aiming to win another World Title. I’m ready to box anyone in my weight class.”

“This is a huge fight for Lewis Ritson, he is one fight away from a shot at the undisputed championship,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “We should be having the full 9,000 in Newcastle but right now 1,000 is going to feel like a full house and I can’t wait to see the fans again in Newcastle – I expect this main event to be a war.”

PONCE: I ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE KO!

Jeremias Ponce says he will look to secure a “dream” World Title fight with Undisputed Super-Lightweight king Josh Taylor but knocking out Geordie favourite Lewis Ritson in front of his home crowd at the Vertu Motors Arena, Newcastle this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US and more than 200 countries and territories.

‘Jere’ arrives in the UK for the first time sporting an impressive record of 27 wins and no losses – with 17 of those win coming by way of knockout – and has two notable wins ‘on the road’ against Rico Mueller for the IBO World Title in Germany and Francesco Lomasto for the IBF Intercontinental Title in Italy.

The undefeated 24-year-old from from Buenos Aires, Argentina says the return of Ritson’s fanatical Newcastle support will only serve to spur him on as he looks to become the latest South American to spring an upset against a Brit.

“I go all out for the win,” said Ponce. “I try and leave nothing to chance. I always look for the knockout. This is a huge opportunity for me, if not the biggest in my career. I’ve trained with that mindset, thinking about this being the biggest moment in my career.

“I think it’s a dream for any boxer to go on and win a World Title, and to face a fighter like Josh Taylor would be a dream come true. I’m 100% confident that I can add myself to the list of South Americans that have caused upsets in the UK. I’m going to go all out to win.

“I think Lewis Ritson is a very good boxer. He’s very quick and he has a very high output. We’ve worked hard looking for ways to counter that. I think we’ll be able to do that. Both styles will definitely clash which will mean it will be a great fight.

“I think the Miguel Vazquez fight was just a really bad night for him. I have also had bad nights before. I don’t think it takes anything away from him. I think he’s still a really good boxer and it will be a very tough night for the both of us.

“Having a crowd in the arena will motivate me even more. I’m used to these types of fights and being the away fighter. I’ve been the away fighter in Germany when the whole of the crowd was against me. I was the away fighter in Naples, Italy when all the fans were against me. I’m used to that and it really will spur me on even more.”

Ritson vs. Ponce tops a big night of action in Newcastle as fans return in the North East, West Rainton’s Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0-1, 4 KOs) takes on Mexico’s Edy Valencia Mercado (17-5-6, 5 KOs) in a ten round Featherweight clash, Former Team GB standout Cyrus Pattinson makes his professional debut in a six round Super-Welterweight clash with Bulgaria’s Yoncho Markov (4-2, 2 KOs), Croatian Heavyweight sensation Alen Babic (6-0, 6 KOs) returns to action against Damian Chambers (11-1, 7 KOs) following a shoulder injury, Catford Super-Bantamweight Ellie Scotney (2-0) meets Spain’s Vanesa Caballero (4-9-3) over eight rounds, Birmingham Heavyweight Solomon Dacres (1-0) clashes with Spain’s Alvaro Terrero (5-11-2, 3 KOs) over six rounds, Benwell Welterweight Joe Laws (9-1, 5 KOs) fights Chris Adaway (10-69-4, 1 KO) over six rounds and Wallsend Welterweight April Hunter (3-0) meets Hungary’s Klaudia Vigh (3-27-1, 2 KOs).




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