Lewis Ritson claimed the vacant WBA International super-lightweight title via an astonishing decision in the Peterborough Matchroom bubble.
Miguel Vazquez seemingly controlled the vast majority of the fight as the former world title-holder racked up the points.
In the end, Ritson took a split decision as those at ringside questioned what just happened.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, who didn’t attend the show due to Covid restrictions, even stated his belief that the 27-year-old lost.
“Watching from home and felt Vasquez deserved the win there,” pointed out Hearn.
Watching from home and felt Vasquez deserved the win there #RitsonVasquez
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 17, 2020
“Yeah, it was a very close fight,” Ritson told Sky Sports in his post-fight interview. “I’ve been out of the ring a year, but I think he was tapping his shot, whereas I was hitting him with the cleaner shots.
“I think you pick what you like, really. I went back to the corner, and they were confident I had won. But I think we won.
“I wasn’t surprised how good he was but how awkward he was. The more the fight went on, the more I got frustrated because I couldn’t hit him, and he was just awkward.
“Tap, tap, tap, and running away. I supposed that’s his style. But this shows where we are at. They talked about (Regis) Prograis and that, but I think it’s a little while before we get to them.
“It is what it is. We’ve come away with the win, and I think deservedly so.”
“I had Ritson losing wide, to be honest,” said Tony Bellew to Anna Woolhouse in the studio. “The lack of urgency from his corner was strange.
“In my opinion, he got completely old-manned. Everything was at Vazquez’s pace.”
Matthew Macklin, who called the fight live, had it ten rounds to two in favor of the Mexican.
After the result was revealed, Macklin said he was ‘flabbergasted’ and that it looked as though Vazquez ‘won easily’.
Ritson’s coach took criticism for not informing his fighter of the possible situation he was in, but in the end, it didn’t matter anyway as two judges made howlers.
Marcus McDonnell saw it 116-113 for Vazquez, which was even a generous score to Ritson. Shocking totals of 117-111 and 115-113 canceled out that marker for Ritson from Terry O’Connor and Michael Alexander. A pair of absolute gifts.
“There’s only one winner,” said trainer Neil Fannon to Riston as they chatted and awaited the result. That’s true Neil, there was – but it wasn’t the Newcastle man, I’m afraid.
As he said it himself, Ritson is not at the top level yet. Furthermore, it’s doubtful he’ll ever get there on his form.