Patera and Davies beat North East stars Ritson and Foot respectively
Lewis Ritson loses European title fight in his Newcastle hometown
FORGET H’away the lads, this was more a case of away the lads. The Toon Army who sang Lewis Ritson to the ring at a raucous Metro Radio Arena with a rousing rendition of Geordie anthem Blaydon Races were stunned into silence when Francesco Patera won a pulsating battle for the vacant European lightweight title via split decision.
Newcastle’s passionate fans had turned out in force expecting to witness another night of glory for British champion Ritson. But Patera ripped the script to shreds with a superb performance to inflict the first defeat of the Forest Hall fighter’s career.
Ritson, outfought and outthought, hit a proverbial brick wall after six fights inside 12 months. He lacked his customary zip and took too many punches. Yet all began with such promise, as his jab found the Belgian’s head with unerring accuracy in the opening three rounds. However, far from being softened up, Patera got his own jab flowing as Ritson’s began to lose its sting. Patera did take several solid shots to the head and body, but he fired back with three, four and five-punch combinations.
Patera hurt Ritson with a left to the midsection at the end of the seventh, as he enjoyed a productive middle section of the contest. There was no lack of guts from Ritson, who took it to the cool customer from Genk in the 11th and, for the first time, Patera appeared to be feeling the pace. But, despite a good start to the final frame from Ritson, Patera recovered his composure to regain the EBU belt. Judge Soren Saugmann scored it 116-112 to Ritson, but Beat Hausammann and Anssi Perajoki marked it 116-112 to the visitor. As Ritson sportingly admitted afterwards, the best man won. Fabian Guggenheim refereed.
There was another masterful away win in the chief support on this Matchroom Boxing bill, as Glenn Foot lost the maiden defence of his Commonwealth super-lightweight championship on a unanimous decision to Robbie Davies Jnr, who added the vacant British title for good measure. While scrappy, the fight kept everyone gripped until the final bell.
Kirkby’s Davies has carved out a reputation as a stoppage specialist, but here he used every ounce of his southpaw skill to thwart his aggressive Sunderland opponent. Foot prowled forward throughout, looking to unload big rights. When he connected to Davies’ chest and then chin in the second round, it looked promising for the Wearsider, especially when Davies ended the session with blood dripping from his left eye.
But Foot was never able to find any sustained pressure and when he did land, it was invariably followed by a clinch. Davies was shrewd, using short, sharp, accurate shots with both fists to
dictate matters. A couple of the scores were a little wide, but Davies deserved his double prize – 119-109 (Steve Gray), 118-110 (Howard Foster) and 117-112 (Michael Alexander). Robert Williams officiated, while Foot announced his retirement after the contest. Liverpool’s Craig Glover halted
Simon Vallily at 1-06 of round eight in their British cruiserweight title eliminator (set for 10). It started going badly the previous day for the Middlesbrough fighter, currently training himself, when he weighed in three pounds above the 200lb limit. It got worse when he was put on his pants by a Glover left hook in the first. In the eighth, a booming right sent Vallily on the retreat and, with Glover pounding away on the ropes, referee Foster intervened.
Croydon’s clinical Joshua Buatsi took just under three minutes to dispose of Frenchman Tony Averlant with two precise left hooks to the body. Averlant got to his feet both times, but could not carry on after the second knockdown, leading referee Alexander to wave it off at 2-53. It was scheduled for 10. It would be interesting to see Buatsi take on ex-british light-heavy champ Hosea Burton, who knocked out his French foe in the opener in his city of birth, also with a left hook to the body. Saidou Sall complained that the Manchester-based boxer had hit him low, but referee Gray thought otherwise and counted him out after just 29 seconds of this six-round bout. Dave Allen delivered a wicked left hook downstairs to defeat Samir Nebo in their 10-rounder. The German crumpled to the canvas in agony with referee Ron Kearney reaching ‘10’ at 1-05 in the first. The popular Doncaster man aped the watching Alan Shearer at ringside with the old number nine’s goal celebration, which drew chants of “There’s only one David Allen” from the crowd. West Rainton’s unbeaten former British super-bantam king Thomas Patrick Ward flattened Germany’s Tom Tran. The visitor got up but Ward’s left hooks decked Tran again, who was counted out at 2-13 of the first of a scheduled four. My Kearney was in charge.
Montrose debutant John Docherty,
the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, unleashed a left uppercut-left hand combo to KO Cheadle’s Jordan Latimer after only 18 seconds of a slated four-rounder. Mr Gray refereed.
Liverpool’s Anthony Fowler dropped and defeated Hungary’s Gabor Gorbics
at 0-45 of the fifth in a bout listed for eight and officiated by Mr Gray. Meanwhile, Benwell’s Joe Laws went toeto-toe with Chris Truman, before referee Kearney called a halt at 2-22 of the fourth and final frame after the Birmingham battler was decked twice in quick succession. The same official marked local
Lawrence Osueke a 60-54 victor over Ghanaian veteran Charles Adamu.
Wallsend’s Terry Wilkinson had Chris Adaway on the canvas in the first, but the Plymouth man got up and played his part in four belting rounds, Mr Gray scoring it 40-35. Elsewhere, Mr Kearney controlled a pair of four-rounders featuring Bulgarians. Spennymoor’s Chad Ellis edged out Angel Emilov 39-38, while Bedlington’s Darren Reay blitzed
Samuil Dimitrov at 1-25 of the first.
THE VERDICT Ritson can come back after recharging his batteries, while Davies can look forward to more big fights.
TOUGH LESSON: Patera lands his right hand, punishing Ritson’s carelessness
DESERVED WINNER: Ritson hangs his head as Patera is announced the victor
BLOOD AND GUTS: Davies overcomes a cut to take control in bruising affair while [below] Glover is a revelation against Valliy