Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Ritson vs Vazquez: Lewis Ritson 'ready to challenge for world title', says Eddie Hearn
Ritson: "Vazquez will feel like he's fighting two people, with the atmosphere. I'll show that I can go onto fight for a world title"
Last Updated: 12/02/20 2:33pm
Lewis Ritson is on the cusp of a world title fight but must first get through an "elite fighter" in Miguel Vazquez, promoter Eddie Hearn said.
Ritson faces former world champion Vazquez in his home city of Newcastle on April 4, live on Sky Sports, and a career-best victory would propel him towards the belts in the super-lightweight division.
"I feel that Ritson is ready to challenge for the world title," Hearn said. "This is the kind of fight that will confirm to him, and his team, that it's the right time. He is stepping up to face an elite fighter who has dominated the division."
Scotland's Josh Taylor (IBF and WBA) and America's Jose Ramirez (WBC and WBO) are unbeaten super-lightweight champions and could crown an undisputed king this year.
Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker were mentioned by Hearn as other major tests as Ritson advances.
Ritson said: "It's a great time. Apart from the top two I'm confident in beating any of them. We'll beat one of them then go onto win a world title.
"This is the fight I need for the experience to get to that level. I showed in my last fight that I'm capable of getting there.
"Vazquez will feel like he's fighting two people, with the atmosphere. I'll show that I can go onto fight for a world title.
"He can do a bit of everything, it will be a very tough night. We'll come up with a good game-plan, stick to it, and win."
Vazquez, a former IBF lightweight champion, said: "I'd love to be world champion again, and winning this fight is the first step to doing that. Ritson is a great fighter and will be very tough for me."
Savannah Marshall, unbeaten in eight fights, challenges WBO light-heavyweight champion Geovana Peres and said: "It's the weight above but I've jumped at the chance. She can whack. Brazilian-born Kiwi, that screams toughness. Everyone put in front of her, she's beaten.
"This is just the start for me. I've got the height for light-heavy, super-middle or middleweight."
Undefeated Joe Laws is in a six-round bout but already setting his sights on world champion Devin Haney: "I fancy that fight. It's one of the reasons I'm moving to 135lbs. I'll put the wins together and, if he wants to step up and come to Newcastle, let's get it on!"