Lewis Ritson feels ‘unstoppable’ after winning British title outright in Newcastle


Lewis Ritson produced another electric first round to stop Paul Hyland Jr after three knockdowns.

Lewis Ritson says he feels unstoppable after destroying Paul Hyland Jr to win the British title outright in his North East homecoming.

The 24-year-old lightweight raised the roof of the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday night when, after flooring his Belfast challenger on three occasions, the referee stopped the contest within the first round.

The victory means the ‘Sandman’ has needed just four rounds to make three successive defences of the Lonsdale belt and he now wants to continue his devastating rise through the ranks.

“I’ll fight anyone [promoter] Eddie Hearn puts in front of me – I feel unstoppable right now,” Ritson said.

“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.

3:41 Lewis Ritson blew away Paul Hyland Jr in the first round to retain his British title in front of a raucous Metro Radio Arena.

“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 he’s dreaming big for the future of the man he called ‘the most exciting fighter in Britain’.

“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 ‘he’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.”