VICTORY over Tim Tszyu could be career defining for Dwight Ritchie.
The Victorian, who is set to tackle Tszyu on the stacked No Limit Boxing pay-per-view card in Sydney on August 14th, is unsurprisingly enthusiastic to be topping such a big event.
But just quietly, the former national and regional titleholder is confident of furthering his career progression with a high-profile victory.
“I’d say that when I first got the call that they had accepted the fight and everything was going ahead,” Ritchie told Aus-Boxing.
“I was really pumped up for this opportunity and everything it promises but also for what a win could do for my career.
“I’ve been kicking along for I think ten years now as a pro and just trying to build my way up and to get the opportunity on a much bigger stage and to get that exposure to the rest of the country.
“A win here would really set me up for something overseas or another big fight here in Australia.”
Whilst Tszyu has built himself an imposing profile in just a few short years in the professional ranks, Ritchie’s name has yet to truly reach the mainstream but his experience inside the ropes is superior to that of his younger adversary.
After defeating some of the best fighters Australia has to offer, Ritchie ventured to Japan where he won a regional title but subsequently lost it in his next fight.
It’s this experience that separates the two careers of these men and it’s what Ritchie believes will win him the fight.
“I just think that my experience and my ability to adapt and make changes during the fight will give me the win,” he said.
Ritchie also claims that Tszyu’s career has perhaps been fast-tracked and that he’s a little green in the professional ranks but he’s quick to counter that Tszyu is still a fighter that shouldn’t be underestimated.
“I think he’s a decent fighter, still pretty green when it comes to the professional ranks but I don’t think he’s someone to be underestimated,” Ritchie said.
“I think that they’ve fast-tracked him a little bit because of his name but it is such a big name so it’s probably to be expected.
“He definitely does have skills though and even though the attention is there because of the name I don’t think that he can be overlooked just because he isn’t his father.”
Whilst Ritchie is certainly not underestimating Tszyu – despite his relative inexperience – he feels that perhaps the same can’t be said of Tszyu and his team with the Victorian citing his lack of knockouts as a likely reason for Tszyu’s confidence in the lead up to the bout.
“I know judging from my record and past fights that they (Tszyu’s team) don’t rate my power so they’re not worried about walking into anything but I like proving people wrong so that suits me just fine,” says Ritchie.
It’s no secret that Tim Tszyu is being primed for higher honours and that Ritchie is being viewed as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
But the tag of underdog is one that Ritchie relishes and for all the talk that’s emanated from his opponents camp, Ritchie is more then prepared to defeat the odds come fight night.
“I know a lot of people are backing him to stop me but I like being the underdog,” he concluded.
“Ive been the underdog quite a bit in the past and it doesn’t really bother me. I’m hungry for this opportunity and what comes out of winning this fight for me is all the motivation and drive I need.
“They can do all the talking they like but I’m putting the work in and what this fight promises is my motivation.”