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Lewis Ritson: I was hurt but the referee made the right decision to throw the towel back out of the ring

Lewis Ritson
Matchroom
The day after a brutal fight with Jeremias Ponce, in his own words Lewis Ritson considers the referee throwing the towel back out of the ring and what's next

I feel a lot better after that than what I did after the Miguel Vazquez fight, believe it or not. Obviously I got the result against Vazquez but there was all the stick that I got with it [because of the decision]. I went out on my shield last night.

To be fair I thought he [Jeremias Ponce] was going to finish us in the first round. He hit us quite early with a left hook to the body and nearly crippled us. He poured it on and I thought to myself if I can just survive the first couple of rounds maybe he’ll tire himself out. Because the second round he tried to finish us as well. He just didn’t seem to tire. He kept coming and coming and coming. It just wasn’t to be.

He could have dropped us as many times but I would have kept getting up. The corner had said to us the round before, you’re getting one more round or I’m going to chuck the towel in. I said no, no don’t chuck the towel in, let us keep going. I’ll be able to turn it round, I’ll be able to turn it round. He was standing there. He was taking some shots himself.

He was winning the rounds but we were in them. It was just the body shot caught us. Maybe the first minute and a half of each round, we were starting sharp but then he’d touch us to the body and it was just survival mode. It was taking us half a round to get past the body shot. Then start the round again, then start sharp again. It was back and forth, back and forth but he managed to catch us in the right place in the 10th and I didn’t manage to survive.

I had said I can turn it round, don’t chuck the towel in so when the towel came in I was disappointed. You seen us turn round – ‘what are you chucking the towel in for?’ When the ref let me go on I was happy. I was hurt but I was happy. I thought I’d try and survive but I couldn’t do it.

I think the referee made the right decision. If I had been knocked down with headshots then you could have said what are you doing but they were body shots and they weren’t really, really sickening body shots. It was just accumulation of all the body shots put together through the fight that done it.

Lewis Ritson
Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing

I said [to Steve Gray] look it didn’t bother me you chucking the towel back out. I’d keep going. It was a hard night at the office but we’ll come back. Probably trying to go a level that we’re not, trying to push for world level. I think last night and the Vazquez fight probably showed that we’re not there. We’re probably a level down from that but there’s nothing wrong with that. We can be in some good fights still.

The crowds up here are very passionate, they get behind their fighters. They’ll get back behind us again, I know they will. A tough pill to swallow but we’ll be back. We’ve just got to find that level that we’re at. World level’s probably a little bit of a push too far. But there’s nothing wrong with being a European level fighter and fighting the rest of the domestic bunch.

James Tennyson [who wants to move up] would be a bit of a humdinger. We don’t knock fights back. We take fights.

That’s something that would get the blood flowing. I’ve won the British title outright, I’ve got that in the house. I don’t really want to go back to the British level, I’m past that. Tennyson’s probably the same as me, a top level European fighter but when he steps up to that world level, he’s fallen short a few times and that’s the same as us. There’s nothing wrong with fighting kids like that. They’ll be good exciting fights.

We don’t know how good Jeremias Ponce’s going to be. We could have found a little rough diamond there. He’s only 24, he’s knocked 18 out now so a dangerous opponent. We’ll see what’s next.

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