Lewis Ritson's world title hopes were wrecked by a punishing ten round stoppage loss to Jeremias Ponce at the Vertu Motors Arena, Newcastle, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US.

Ritson was floored on three occasions by the relentless Argentine, who became the IBF mandatory challenger for Scotland's undisputed world super lightweight champion Josh Taylor.

There was an odd moment in the tenth round, when Ritson's corner threw in the towel - but for whatever reason it was ignored by the referee - who later tossed it out. Ponce continued to punish Ritson, put him down some more and got the stoppage when the ref waved it off.

"Thanks very much for wishing me well after my fight," Ponce told Chris Lloyd. "It was a very tough fight, a lot tougher than I expected it to be. I expected a war with Ritson and he's a tough fighter - tougher than I expected. 

"Yes I did think it was over in the first round - it was a great body shot that I hit him with. Any other boxer would have gone down. I hit him right on the button and it would have hurt him. He showed his toughness that he was able to recover from that. 

"It was a bit confusing when we were in the ring because I thought the fight was over as soon as I saw the towel come in. Then I saw the ref throw it out - to be honest it was a bit of a shock. He's probably hurt in the rib area now and he wouldn't have been if he stopped the fight when we saw the towel come in.

"It's one step closer to my dream. It's the dream that you always have as a fighter. I'm one step away from that now. Thank you very much, I'm sorry it didn't turn out as your expected, but thank you very much."