There is without a doubt no better time to struggle with 140lbs Josh Taylor soon to leave the division and advance to welterweight. Those left in super lightweight sense a possibility, with four belts soon on the table, and that includes Lewis Ritson.
Ritson has previously tipped on the brink of a world championship, but fell short in an IBF eliminator against Jeremiah Ponce. For his next match, against Henry “Hank” Lundy, he was forced to retire due to illness and only returned to the ring after more than a year out in December, beating Christian Uruzquieta.
Momentum has not been particularly kind to the Newcastle fighter, who is set to head to a homecoming show in Tyne and Wear on Friday night against former WBC champion Dejan Zlaticanin, though that has not dampened his hopes of challenging again soon.
“A win and I would have fought for a world championship,” Ritson said I. ‘So I want to be thrown straight back with those names. We struggled with that level before and if we would have remained undefeated [before the loss to Ponce] we would have kept at that level. We want to prove to people that we are still at the top.
“I won the British title in my 12th match and ever since then it has just been step up after step up. It will be nice to show the fans what we can do and get people excited. ”
Like most British boxers, the pandemic caused serious disruption to Ritson’s schedule, and much has changed for him personally since his controversial split decision over Miguel Vazquez in October 2020.
The decision sparked a setback that convinced Ritson to delete social media – he has since reactivated his accounts but uses them sparingly – and he admits that negative comments from fans are “part of the job – but you can not let it get to you .
“You have to rise above it, it’s over a computer screen, people get a little brave when they have a fake profile name and picture, and they can say what they like, they can get a little naughty. But I’m not the only one who has to figure it out, a lot of boxers do. ”
This is how you look
- Date: Friday, March 25th
- Meeting point: Newcastle Arena
- Time: Ring walks to the main event are expected around noon. 23.00
- TV channel: Eurosport 1
- Live stream: Subscribers can also watch live via Eurosport website – subscriptions cost £ 6.99 per month or £ 59.99 for the year
- I predicts: Zlaticanin is on a miserable run with three losses in his last five matches and he is struggling to get through the early rounds. Ritson wins by TKO rounds 4-6.
In another major change, he has moved closer to home after a lengthy training regime in Hartlepool. The 28-year-old has young daughters and struggled with the time he spent training away from the family. “[My daughter] knew I was leaving on a Monday so she cried she would not talk to us! It affects you a little bit, ”he says. “It was about to reach the stage where I thought it’s time to get home now. I feel much happier in myself and a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter.”
Ritson also trains back with his father. “It was hard beforehand [going from] to be a coach to be the best partner, but now we have come on top of that, ”adds Ritson. “He’s the coach, he’s telling us what to do, and I want to listen – and if I do not like it, there’s the gym door.”
No one in the camp can be sure of exactly what lies ahead. Ritson insists he’s not the type to call other fighters even though he’s been linked with Jack Catterall and Regis Prograis. However, not Taylor – who he jokes with, he would be happy to see move up to 147 lbs to “keep us out of the way”.
- Lewis Ritson vs. Dejan Zlaticanin
- Troy Williamson vs. Mason Cartwright
- Thomas Patrick Ward vs. Alexis Boureima Kabore
- Pat McCormack vs. Danny Mendoza
- Mark Dickinson vs. Peter Kramer
- Joe Laws vs. TBA
- Joe Maphosa vs. TBA
- Ben Rees vs TBA