Lewis Ritson Signs New Five Fight Deal With Matchroom Boxing
Lewis Ritson has signed a new five fight deal with Matchroom Boxing.
The Newcastle ace landed the Lord Lonsdale belt for keeps last weekend on his home patch, drilling Paul Hyland Jnr inside a round in front of a raucous Metro Radio Arena crowd.
Ritson initially signed with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom after ripping the British Lightweight title from Robbie Barrett in seven rounds in Manchester in October and thrilled in quickfire defences earlier in the year, putting Joe Murray away in the opening round in Manchester in February then ending Scotty Cardle’s attempts to regain his old title in a two-round shootout.
The 24 year old will now target European honours and beyond, and the ‘Sandman’ is delighted to put pen to paper and continue his incredible rise with Hearn and Sky Sports.
“I’m delighted to extend my deal with Matchroom,” said Ritson. “It’s been a rapid rise but one that I have enjoyed fighting on the big stage live on Sky Sports.
“We’re going to keep busy and I can’t wait to see where we go from here, but I can’t get complacent I need to keep focused and keep winning.
“Since the Barrett fight we have fought everyone Eddie has presented to us no problem, I’m a fighter at the end of the day and have no problem jumping in there with anyone my team believe I’m ready for.
“The atmosphere in Newcastle was unreal. I had a little moment before the bell went to soak it all up. The plan is to return there in October and I hope we can continue to build.
“There’s no pressure on me to talk about St James’ Park, it’s an aspiration and something to aim towards – A year ago I was a massive underdog to win the British so let’s roll the dice and see where we end up.
“It’s been a fantastic year, everything is improving not just in the ring but in my home life as well as a result.
“The European title is the logical next step, I’d like to prove to myself I can win that which is a move up and there’s some talk of a fight in America before the close of the year but that’s all up to Eddie and the team to lock down and for me to keep doing what I do best.”
“I’ve been completely blown away with what Lewis has done over the past 8 months and last Saturday in Newcastle was epic,” said Hearn. “I think he is one of the most exciting fighters in World boxing right now and has a huge future in the sport.
“We are looking forward to working with Phil, Dave, Neil and the team in guiding him at the right pace to major titles. I really believe the Sky is the limit for Lewis Ritson.”
Lewis Ritson says he feels unstoppable after producing another stunning display of power to destroy Paul Hyland Jnr in one round to take home the British Lightweight title for keeps.
Ritson blasted Hyland Jnr away inside the opening session of their clash in Newcastle, much to the delight of a raucous crowd in the Metro Radio Arena and presented his Dad and trainer Davie with the perfect Father’s Day present – a Lord Lonsdale belt for the mantelpiece.
The ‘Sandman’ put the unbeaten Belfast man away in a similar fashion to the devastating defences against Joe Murray (first round) and Scotty Cardle (second round) and now the 24 year old is setting his sights on more belts when he returns to action.
“I’ll fight anyone Eddie Hearn puts in front of me – I feel unstoppable right now. I feel that I am probably done with domestic level but if Eddie wants to put me in with [Commonwealth champion] Tommy Coyle or go for the European, the team will make the right choice.
“I think that atmosphere would take some topping. You need a bit of luck in this game and you have to keep winning, but if I do that, there’s no reason why we can’t get to St. James’ Park in a massive fight.
“That belt belongs to my old man, he gets them all and I want to give him more and fill his trophy room up.
“I hope that we keep fighting in Newcastle but I’ve got a great team around me and I know I have a lot of options. I think World honours are a way off at the moment, we’re looking for European next and then we can move on.”
Hearn was ‘blown away’ by the atmosphere on Saturday night, and while he wants Ritson to make improvements to his all-action style, he’s dreaming big for the future of the man he called ‘the most exciting fighter in Britain’.
“I knew the numbers were good and I expected a good atmosphere but that blew me away,” said Hearn. “It’s so god to come to a city where the people are thankful to have big-time boxing there. In London, Manchester, Liverpool and so on, it’s a regular thing, but it’s not there. We don’t want to milk it but we will be back here and there’s some special, special talents in Lewis and Josh Kelly, and there’s other fighters too.
“I was surprised by how cool Lewis was. We were standing behind the curtain backstage and he’d never seen anything like what was waiting for him on the ringwalk. When the music started and got in the ring, the noise and the energy was something else and I looked at him and thought, ‘I hope you are calm, because I’m not’.
“But he was so calm. That’s the sign of a fighter with a very good temperament and that’s what I think he has. He’s still got a lot to learn, when he’s trading his chin is in the air and you cannot do that against fighters that can punch as you step up the levels.
“What he does have is extraordinary power, he’s a better technical fighter than we’ve seen, and I want to see that come out and develop as a boxer rather than ‘je’s just a ticket-seller’. We will bring him back to Newcastle but I’d like him to box away from home and get rounds, so he can develop under less pressure than he’s under in Newcastle.
“He’s arguably the most exciting boxer in Britain right now – everyone is talking about him and everyone wants to watch him – but I don’t want him to become a guy that people think just marches forward and knocks people out. He’s had 16 fights, and his last three fights have ended inside four rounds total.
“If he boxed for a World title now at St. James’ Park, I’m not saying we’d fill it – but we’d have a good go. We’re miles off that yet, but that’s the dream.”