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Trainer: Why Lewis Ritson won the fight

Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez
I sensed Lewis Ritson was winning, the shots Miguel Vazquez was throwing had no value, says trainer Neil Fannon

I KNOW boxing is about opinions but I feel in Britain we like losers more than we like winners. Lewis Ritson could have made himself a lot more popular on Saturday if he had lost to Miguel Vazquez.

Vazquez walked over to our corner before the decision was even announced to congratulate us. He wasn’t sure if he’d won and two of the three judges thought he hadn’t won. I didn’t think Vazquez had won.

I’ve been in the corner I don’t know how many times and when I’ve watched some of them back on TV, some have looked wider than I’d thought and some have looked closer.

Saturday night was one if you are at ringside it did look different. At the time I thought Lewis had won and, to be honest, I’ve not watched it back yet.

Watching from ringside, a lot of the shots Vazquez landed had no value. A scoring shot has to be with reasonable force and a lot of them weren’t. That’s how and why I had Lewis always in front.

A few years ago, my boxer Martin Ward lost to Jazza Dickens on a split decision for the British super-bantamweight title. Martin totally outworked him, while the cleaner shots came from Jazza. Two judges thought the cleaner shots had more value and one judge thought the work-rate was more important

That’s one of the reasons people like boxing: It’s about opinions.

I don’t really do social media, but I’ve been told about all the stuff that is out there, including corruption theories. I would not have been in boxing all my life if I ever thought it was corrupt.

I’m involved with boxing as a hobby, I don’t do it for any financial gain.

I thought Lewis was a bit flat. It was not the fresh Lewis Ritson who fought Robbie Davies Jnr 12 months ago. I don’t do excuses about injuries or illnesses. When we arrived in Peterborough my men were fit and ready to fight, but you sometimes never know how they are going to perform until they are actually in the ring.

He was a bit flat, probably because of the delay after delay this year. You ask Harry Kane to have a year out; would he then score a hat-trick in his first match back?

But I do think given the circumstances it was a decent performance. Davies, we were told, was a step up in class and he did it. Vazquez, we were told, was a step up in class again and he won again.

You have to put it in perspective. It wasn’t a step up in class for Vazquez, but it was a step up in class for Ritson. Not only that, he had been out the ring for 12 months. I don’t see how all the criticism is merited.

This has not altered my opinion or ambitions for Lewis.

Lewis Ritson

After losing to Francesco Patera in 2018 a lot of people were quick to condemn. People said to me ‘do you think he’s a one trick pony?’ But since then, Lewis moved to Hartlepool full-time and he’s become a very good fighter.

On Saturday, as the fight has gone on he’s looked a bit flat, but he was still good enough to beat a world-class performer. What do I know? Well, I’ve been a trainer for 21 years and I have confidence in my ability.

Lewis will fight anyone next, but we need the crowds. Not for Lewis to fight better, but it’s a waste not being able to have one of the most exciting crowds and atmospheres on the British scene. Ritson fight-nights are incredible occasions at the arena in Newcastle and we’d love a big fight there.

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