Lewis Ritson v Robbie Davies Jnr,12 ROUNDS LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT, Sky Sports (Saturday) – This should be a very entertaining fight. There’s been some bad blood in the build up here, which usually makes them more entertaining. Ritson (19-1) was extremely humbled in November last year by Francisco Patera. He had an aura of invincibility around him at lightweight, a massive puncher who was stopping people quickly left, right and centre. It seemed he would just walk you down and eventually stop you no matter who you were at British level, possibly European. That went up in smoke when he couldn’t do it with a solid European fighter in Patera. He was seriously hurt with a body shot and visibly never recovered, leading to his first loss and a massive bump back down to earth. Maybe this loss will turn into a good thing for Ritson. He moved up to light-welterweight afterwards and laboured to a dull points win over German Argentino Benitez, and last time out stopped Marek Jedrzejewski in 3 rounds. Not exactly quality opposition in preparation for Robbie Davies Jnr (19-1). Davies Jnr is a solid fighter. He himself suffered a humbling defeat back in 2017 against Michal Syrowatka. He had Swrowatka down in the 9th, but in the 12th he was dropped with a left hook and couldn’t recover, leading to the stoppage loss. Unlike Ritson, he got straight back in with Syrowatka, and put him down in the 3rd, 4th and finally in the 12th where he got his revenge. He followed that up with a points wins over Glenn Foot and Joe Hughes, before a stoppage win over Michal Dufek in August which was basically a glorified sparring session. Davies Jnr said hes ready for world level, but the win over Dufek in Liverpool was how we got to this fight, as with Ritson on the card as well, Ritson called out Davies Jnr, words were exchanged backstage, and Eddie saw the money signs. He gave Ritson home field advantage and we are good to go in Newcastle. Ritson starts marginal favourite at 8/11 with Davies Jnr 1/1. If this fight was in Liverpool id guess those would be swapped around. Both men were 10/11 when the fight was first announced so Ritson seems to be getting the money backing him in the lead up to fight night. I myself, strongly fancy Davies Jnr (which may not go down with the BBB lads). Davies Jnr is the betting boxer, and if he can survive the expected early Ritson onslaught, he should be able to box his way to victory. That said, that early Ritson onslaught could quite easily see Davies Jnr stopped. Ritson for a KO is 13/8, with a points win 3/1. Davies Jnr is 7/2 for a KO and 5/2 for points. Im not at all convinced by Ritson’s stamina to box at a high level for 12 rounds. That 5/2 has money signs all over it. The Patera fight raised serious concerns for me. If Davies Jnr can land with hurtful body shots do we see the same thing where Ritson just can’t recover, or was that just a reaction to struggling to make the weight, and also fighting a very good fighter in Patera. Ritson looks like a man who has a Plan A (knock you out early), and if that doesn’t work, there is no real Plan B. If Plan A doesn’t work, he’s in for a long night here. There are only two possible outcomes here for me, Ritson by early stoppage or Davies Jnr by (closer than should be) points win. Davies Jnr is going to have to contend with a fierce crowd and a pumped up Lewis Ritson. If he hears the bell for the 5th round, he will begin silencing the fans and getting the better of Ritson, eventually getting the win. Fascinating fight.
BNC Tip – Robbie Davies Jnr to win on points @ 5/2, or an outright win at @ 1/1
Other Notable Fight
Ted Cheeseman v Scott Fitzgerald, BRITISH LIGHT-MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE, Sky Sports (Saturday) – Very decent fight this on the undercard in Newcastle.Cheeseman (15-1-1) comes in without a win in his two fights. He was massively outclassed by Sergio Garcia as he stepped up to European level, then got a draw against Kieron Conway earlier this year in a fight not many would argue Cheeseman won quite handily. Fitzgerald (13-0) on the other hand, comes in off the back of a career best win over Anthony Fowler. In a very close fight, Fitzgerald dropped Fowler in the 10th round which won him the fight, as without it he wouldn’t of won a SD and probably would not be fighting for the British title here. Cheeseman has fought at a higher level than Fitzgerald, and experience could be a defining factor in this fight. But Fitzgerald will come in brimming with confidence after the Fowler win, im not sure Cheeseman will after the Conway draw. Maybe thats why Fitzgerald starts favourite at a surprising 4/11. The Big Cheese starts at 2/1. Id say KO’s for either are unlikely, Fitzgerald is 9/4 and Cheeseman 6/1. This fight is very likely to go 12 rounds (4/7 if you fancy that), and points wins are 11/10 Fitzgerald and 7/2 Cheeseman. I think Cheeseman has a chance here, he looks to be getting short changed at the bookies. The Garcia loss aside, he’s never really been troubled. He beat Conway regardless of the result, and has fought better calibre of opponents than Fitzgerald has. If he has his head screwed on properly and isnt dwelling on the last year or so, he can win here. Fitzgerald will have to box better than he did against Fowler to win, and im not sure he can. Cheeseman has a lot more to lose here, its hard to see how he comes back from a loss here if he wants to progress with his career.
BNC Tip – Cheeseman to win on points @ 7/2, or outright @ 2/1
Oleksandr Gvozdyk v Artur Beterbiev, WBC WORLD / IBF WORLD LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT TITLES (Friday) – What a fight. It’s a shame we don’t seem to have any UK coverage? This could easily be fight of the year. They met in the amateurs and Beterbiev (14-0) stopped Gvozdyk (17-0), but im not sure that’s relevant at the current time. Beterbiev has stopped every man he’s faced so far, 14 out of 14, while Gvozdyk has 14 out of 17 knockouts, so someone is likely to get knocked out here. Both men are monsters in the ring. WBC champ Gvozdyk starts marginal favourite at 8/11, with IBF champ Beterbiev 11/10. Im picking Gvozdyk, based solely on the fact Callum Johnson had Beterbiev down and hurt, and if Gvozdyk does that, there’s no way back for Beterbiev. Genuine 50/50 this. Gvozdyk by late stoppage @ 13/8