Lewis Ritson set for European lightweight title fight
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 09/08/18 4:00pm
Lewis Ritson is set to earn a European title fight in October and his destructive rise up the rankings could even lead to an appearance in America.
The 24-year-old won the British lightweight crown outright with a stunning first round knockout of Paul Hyland Jr in June, and will be keeping a close eye on Edis Tatli's European title defence against Frank Urquiaga on Saturday.
Ritson hopes to face the winner, with a potential date of October 13 reserved at the Metro Radio Arena, but could first make an appearance on Amir Khan's undercard in Birmingham on September 8, live on Sky Sports.
"Yeah, October 13, we're thinking," Ritson told Sky Sports. "We're being told that we could have a warm-up fight on September 8 on the Amir Khan bill, just an eight-rounder, then hopefully the European title in October.
"He's [Tatli] got a good win against [Yvan] Mendy, who's obviously beaten Luke Campbell. He's a good opponent, but it's nothing we don't think we can handle on the night.
"Domestically at British level, we've dealt with all the top operators now.
"We've got [Anthony] Crolla, Campbell and [Ricky] Burns who are beyond that, but the domestic scene, we've dealt with that well and now it's time for the European."
Promoter Eddie Hearn tied down Ritson on a five-fight deal in June, which included the possibility of a bout on a Matchroom USA bill.
"When we signed the contract, one of the fights was to be in America," revealed Ritson.
"But if we keep having the Metro [Radio] Arena like a fortress, and the atmosphere that we're getting, then there's no need to go anywhere else.
"It would always be nice to go to America for a big fight, but if we can keep fighting at that Arena, then that's where we'll stay."
Fellow British lightweight Campbell will have a rematch with Yvan Mendy on the undercard for Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The Olympic gold medallist has linked up with new trainer Shane McGuigan as he attempts to avenge a 2015 points loss and Ritson expects him to outclass the Frenchman.
Campbell-Mendy II on AJ bill
Luke Campbell receives rematch with Yvan Mendy at Wembley on September 22
"I think Campbell will do the job this time," said Ritson. "I don't think he'll stop Mendy, but I think he'll win well on points. Campbell moving to McGuigan is a good move for him and you'll see the best of Luke Campbell.
"You've just got to watch his fight with [Jorge] Linares. He pushed Linares to the limit.
"If you put Linares in with the likes of Mendy, I think you would expect Linares to win quite easily.
"He's definitely 100 per cent improved since the last one, and I think we'll see that in this fight that he's got."