Lewis Ritson and the Toon Army are heading South on the 23rd of March to take on the “KO Kid” Andy Townend from Barnsley at the CopperBox Arena on a Sky Sports Boxing World Championship Night. John Newsome looks ahead to what should be a terrific battle.
On paper, Lewis is the favourite – Matchroom golden boy from Newcastle against a guy from Barnsley whos lost 4… dig beneath the surface, Andy Townend is a World Champion in waiting, Boxrec says Lewis Ritson 17 fights, 16wins, 11 from knockouts, 1 Loss. Andy Townend Boxrec is 22 fights , 18 wins, 4 losses, 14 from knockouts.14 knockouts at Super Featherweight and Now Lightweight..(9stone 4lbs and 9stone 9lbs). Lewis hasn’t experienced anything like it yet, Andy has 4 losses. However, again look under the surface and here are the stories behind Andy’s losses. His first loss came in his 6th professional fight, aged just 23 he took on an experienced journeyman in Dougie Curran over 6 rounds. A non-event really, Andy lost on points, not really at the races and was frustrated by Curran, but ultimately, a loss. In his 9th Professional fight, aged 24 he took on the ” boxing bin man” Rendall Monroe. Prior to fighting Andy in September 2013. Rendall had been in the ring with Toshiaki Nishioka who was WBC World Super Bantamweight Champion, Scott Quigg (twice) another World Champion and Kiko Martinez, again a former World Champion.
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Andy was in his 9th Professional fight and took Monroe the full 10 rounds eventually losing on points to the experienced Leicestershire fighter, even putting the ”Bin Man” down. Townend, nicknamed ”the KO kid” for obvious reasons, took a break for 6 months after the Monroe defeat and his 3rd loss came in his return to the ring. Again he decided to fight experience in the Welshman Dai Davies. A rusty Townend lost a 6 rounder narrowly on points. Andy got back to winning ways 2 month later, stopping the excellent and current Commonwealth Lightweight Champion Sean “Masher” Dodd. Dodd has 2 defeats on his record, one to Scott Cardle and one to Andy Townend. Andy went on a knockout spree after this fight stopping 6 out of 8 of his next opponents and beating the other 2 on points. In September 2016 the “KO Kid” fought for the British Super Featherweight Title at the O2 on the Kell Brook v Gennardy Golovkin “Super fight”.
His opponent on the night was the very talented, under rated, truly the next best prospect, Martin J Ward. Ward is superb, never been beaten and truly is going to be a World Champion. Ward did his homework and comfortably beat Andy on the night, stopping the ”KO Kid” for the first time in is career, in round 8. Andy was distraught but on reflection would accept that Ward was far too experienced for him and learned a lesson. Andy hasn’t lost since. 4 defeats, all justifiable, all happened, but when you scratch the surface and re evaluate the bouts all can be explained, explained not excused. One final thought for Lewis Ritson and his entourage… when Andy “the KO kid “ Townend fought Martin J Ward, probably the best Super Featherweight in the World.
Andy’s biggest fan in the world, his Grandfather, had just died. He had just left his partner and ultimately had to leave his 2 year old daughter. He was homeless with not many possessions and had to find solace in a home he wasn’t used to and a friend who was 20 year older then him. While his friend supplied much-needed support, this wasn’t the ideal preparation for a fighter facing the biggest professional fight of his career, the British Title. Ultimately Martin J Ward was the better fighter on the night in the O2… But how composed and concentrated would Andy Townend have been coming into the fight without the distractions he had like when he faces Lewis Ritson. Andy Townend, given the right moments in life, will be a World Champion – he just needs to believe in himself like other people believe him.
Lewis Ritson Watch yourself!