British lightweight sensation Lewis Ritson (16-0, 10KOs) will take on Francesco Patera (19-3, 7KOs) of Belgium for the vacant European title at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England on October 13.
The 24-year-old will first take an 8-round warm-up fight against an unnamed opponent on the Khan-Vargas undercard next weekend. Some may suggest that fighting 5 weeks before a major bout is risky but Ritson is like a throwback fighter from yesteryear who will sensibly take it in his stride.
Ritson – also known as ‘Sandman’ because he puts people to sleep – is a down to earth Geordie who was applying for work in a factory only one year ago but is now a Newcastle hero on the verge of national stardom.
“I’ve dealt with all the top operators at domestic level and now it’s time to announce myself on the European stage,” said Ritson, who secured the British belt outright with a first-round knockout of Paul Hyland Jnr in June.
“I’m feeling unstoppable right now and I’m ready to take on anyone that gets put in front of me.
“The Metro Radio Arena is my fortress and nobody is beating me in my backyard. The noise my fans make inside the arena is incredible, it’s like there’s two of me in the ring.
“Patera has held the European belt so we know that he poses a real threat and I’ll have to be at my best to get past him. I’ve been told there’s not much between Patera and Tatli in terms of ability and style. Patera looks big at the weight and is a busy fighter, I’m expecting an exciting fight.
“He’s a good opponent, but it’s nothing we don’t think we can handle on the night. I feel like I am improving with every fight and with the form that I’m in, I’m confident of beating anyone.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I was completely blown away with what I saw both in and out of the ring last time we were in Newcastle.
“Lewis Ritson has fast become one of the most popular and exciting fighters in British boxing and now he gets an opportunity to challenge for a European title. He has cleared up domestically and this is the next step.”
It won’t be long before Ritson is selling out St James’ Park 52,000 seater stadium if he can continue knocking out opponents at European level. Keep a close eye on the career of Ritson as he rises through the ranks of a staked lightweight division that includes two of the best pound for pound fighters in the world today – Vasiliy Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia.