Currently holding a lofty No.2 ranking with the WBA, Lewis Ritson is hoping to further his world title claims when he meets ever tricky Mexican Miguel Vazquez at the East of England Arena in Peterborough on Saturday (October 17).
Geordie Ritson believes that an enforced hiatus due to the Coronavirus has allowed him to fine tune his skills following a hard-fought victory over Robbie Davies Jr. in October 2019. At his best, the 140-pounder believes he stops the wily Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs) who has only lost twice inside the distance since turning pro 14 years ago against a young Canelo Alvarez.
Ritson (20-1, 12 KOs) was originally supposed to face former IBF 135lbs champ Vazquez in April then June before a third date was found. He has spent those months diligently preparing with trainer Neil Fannon and says he feels revitalised by the break and reassessment.
“It has probably benefitted me more than most other fighters,” said Ritson. “It has really allowed for us to gel and work on other areas of our game. Rather than wondering when a fight date may drop, despite the cancellations we have always had an end date in mind which has allowed for me to stay disciplined and sharp throughout.
“I’ve been in the gym the full year training hard and staying ready for whatever happens next. The start of lockdown gave me a chance to slow the pace down a little bit and work on a lot more of the technical stuff. I feel like I’ve improved a couple of levels compared to how I boxed against Robbie Davies Jr. We knew that we would get a new date confirmed eventually, we just had to stay in the gym.
“If I bring my A game, I’ll be too much for Miguel and will stop him. I think he’s probably a little bit on the slide whereas I’m still on the way up, so we’re meeting bang in the middle. This is the exact type of fight where I can gain more experience to move to the next step. He’s been there and done it. We know what he is all about and what he will bring.
“Beating Robbie proved I’m at that European level, now it’s time to prove I can go to the interim world level stage with a good win against Vazquez. That will pave the way for more big fights. We never take anyone lightly and we definitely haven’t taken Vazquez lightly. If I bring my A game, I’ll have more than enough to beat him.”
Ritson-Vazquez will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Main image: Matchroom Boxing.