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Newcastle Arena – Lewis Ritson signs to fight bitter rival Ohara Davies in a massive world title eliminator next year

Lewis ‘The Sandman’ Ritson (23-2-0) has confirmed that he has signed his contract to face Ohara ‘Two Tanks’ Davies (24-2-0) in a blockbuster All-British clash in Newcastle next year.

It is understood that the bout will take place in February 2023, at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle, which will see the WBA number 2 and 5 face-off in a world title final eliminator at 140lbs. The WBA world title belt at super lightweight was recently won by Dominican Republican southpaw Alberto Puello (21-0-0) in a closely contested bout with Uzbek amateur sensation Botirzhon Akhmedov (9-2-0). The winner of the final eliminator will become mandatory to Puello, presenting why it’s such a high stakes fight.

After both signing with Probellum, it must be said this fight between Ritson and Davies was inevitable, but with the winner having the opportunity to fight for gold, it just got much bigger. The possibilities for the winner are huge, especially for Ritson, who could potentially bring his lifelong dream to reality of fighting for a world title at his beloved St James’ Park.

Since moving up to 140lbs, The Sandman has looked strong, outclassing former WBC world champion Dejan Zlaticanin in his most recent outing. Davies, a more natural super lightweight, has been on great form, winning every fight since his points loss to Jack Catterall. His most notable victory is undoubtedly over his massive rival Tyrone Mckenna in 2020. Interestingly, both men struggled against the tricky Mexican Miguel Vazquez, who they both beat, but not without extreme controversy. Statistically, Davies is the bigger puncher at super lightweight, which could be concern for Lewis, who has had his power questioned at 140, in comparison to his days at lightweight, where he undoubtedly carried a demeanour of brutality. Nevertheless, when the two men meet in the ring, it will be a huge occasion for the northeast where everyone will be watching what we predict will be a barn burner.

Following former undisputed champion Josh Taylor relinquishing 3 of his 4 world title belts, the layout at 140lbs has completely changed. The division has seen a spark recently, undoubtedly fuelled by the masterful performance by Regis Prograis (28-1-0) last month, which saw him knock out Jose Zepeda to win the vacant WBC world title. The IBF belt remains vacant, however it will be contested between number 1 ranked Jeremias Ponce (30-0-0), who stopped Lewis Ritson last year, and Puerto Rican heavy hitter Subriel Matias (18-1-0) in early 2023. Taylor still holds the WBO belt, which he will defend in Glasgow next year in a highly anticipated rematch with Jack Catterall, who most believed beat the Scotsman in their first fight.

Josh Taylor after beating Jose Ramirez to become Undisputed world champion

Moreover, this week sees two of the best at 140lbs collide in New York, where former lightweight king Teofimo Lopez will face off against Spanish technician Sandor Martin, who gathered a name for himself when he outpointed boxing superstar Mikey Garica in Fresno, CA in 2021. It’s certainly exciting when an undisputed champion vacates their belts as it means the best fight the best in the division, which is unquestionably was we’re seeing at 140lbs.

It is claimed that Teofimo Lopez turned down the fight with Ohara Davies after it was ordered by the WBA, hence why Ritson has been given the opportunity to fight in the world title final eliminator, despite being number 5 in their rankings.