Jeremias Ponce floors Lewis Ritson three times, scores 10th-round stoppage
Argentinian junior welterweight Jeremias Ponce increased his unbeaten record to 28-0 and secured a career-best triumph by stopping Lewis Ritson in 10 rounds at the Eagles Community Arena in Newcastle, England on Saturday.
Ponce hurt the home fighter with a left hook to the body in the first round and that moment was a precursor to the finish. In the 10th, a right to the ribcage put Ritson on the canvas and a follow up assault prompted the corner to throw in the towel. There was some serious controversy when referee Steve Gray refused to accept the corner surrender, but Ponce continued to target the mid-section and produced two more knockdowns before Gray finally waved off the bout. The official time was 1:24.
“It was a great opportunity to come here and fight, and I’m really happy with how things went,” said Ponce in his post-fight interview with Sky Sports in the U.K.
“I hit him with a really good body shot in the first round that was called a low blow and that could have stopped the fight. [The body attack] is something we identified [that could hurt Ritson].”
Ritson, who was coming off a contentious points win over former IBF lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez, simply could not keep Ponce off of him. The visitor set a frenetic face throughout, and the fight-changing power that Ritson carried as a lightweight was not in evidence at 140.
This was a final IBF eliminator and that title is held by undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor. The Scotsman’s first mandatory obligation will be WBO No. 1 Jack Catterall, but there’s also talk that Taylor could make the leap to 147 pounds and vacate his titles.
Ponce will get his chance, but there’s a lot to be decided between now and then.
Ritson falls to 21-2 (12 KOs).
Tom Gray is Managing Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing