Title Picture Taking Shape

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Titles are on the line on both sides of the Atlantic this weekend

Lewis Ritson hopes to be inspired by the return of crowds in Newcastle.

There’s a hugely exciting weekend of boxing on the cards with action on both sides of the pond, as Lewis Ritson takes on Jeremias Ponce in Newcastle, while Shakur Stevenson meets Jeremiah Nakathila in Las Vegas.

Saturday’s bout between Ritson and Ponce is an eliminator for the WBA super-lightweight title as both men set their sights on champion Josh Taylor.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, UK time, Stevenson and Nakathila throw bombs for the WBO interim lightweight title.

Ritson Hoping to Continue Rise

After going 17-0, Ritson suffered his first professional defeat at the hands of Belgium’s Francesco Patera in October 2018, losing in his home town of Newcastle.

Ritson came back with renewed vigour five months later to see off German Argentino Benitez and he is currently riding a four-fight winning streak.

He looked extremely impressive when beating domestic rival Robbie Davies Jr in October 2019, before overcoming highly-rated Mexican Miguel Vazquez last time out.

That meeting with Vazquez took place behind closed doors and Ritson admitted his performance suffered without his usual vociferous support.

With fans back in attendance this weekend as he returns to Vertu Motors Arena in his native Newcastle, Ritson is hoping for an added boost in his pursuit of a title shot.

South American Ponce, however, will be no pushover as he looks to extend his undefeated record.

This weekend’s bout will be Ponce’s first outside of Argentina and it’s no surprise to see him go off as the 17/10 underdog.

There’s enough value in Ritson, priced at 5/12, to get behind him as he seeks an all-British title fight later in the year.

Stevenson Represents Step up for Nakathila

Stevenson has taken a very traditional route through the ranks, competing at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, winning silver for the USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and turning professional in 2017.

He won the vacant WBO featherweight title in 2019, beating Joet Gonzalez and he is looking to become the WBO interim junior lightweight champion this weekend.

The 23-year-old is hugely talented, represented by his price of 1/50 to come away from Sunday’s bout with his arm raised in the air.

Nakathila, 19/2 to pick up a shock win, is eight years the senior of Stevenson, making his professional debut in 2011, and he fights for just the second time outside of his native Namibia this weekend.

He boasts an impressive 21-1 record, with his only defeat coming when he travelled over to Russia to take on Evgeny Chuprakov.

The 31-year-old has picked up 17 victories via knockout and has ended each of his last 10 inside of the distance.

But his debut on US soil, which is set to take place under the bright lights at Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas, represents a huge step up in class.

This bout looks almost certain to end shy of the final bell, with Stevenson also no stranger to picking up victory by knockout, winning eight of his 15 fights in that manner.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Bobbie is a big football fan across all levels, and he also has an impressive background in martial arts and is a regular provider of quality boxing and UFC content.

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