Although Lewis Ritson’s ultimate goals lie a little higher, the lure of bringing the famous Lord Lonsdale British title home to Forest Hall next month is driving the talented boxer on.
The 12-fight undefeated Geordie boxer challenges Robbie Barrett for the lightweight British strap on the undercard of a Sky Sports bill in Manchester, which is topped by the top domestic clash between Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns on October 7.
The British title is one of the most coveted titles in boxing – one that all of the best boxers from these isles have won in their careers.
And Ritson hopes to add his name to that list as he targets a traditional route towards his world title ambitions.
Speaking at the Baltic Centre of Contemporary Arts in Gateshead, Ritson said: “It would mean the world to win the British title. Domestically it’s the best belt around. I’m targeting getting it and making three defences so I can keep it too.
“For somebody like myself who wants to go all the way to a world title, the British is like the first major title on the way to that.
“It should be every British boxer’s dream really; to win that Lord Lonsdale title.”
He continued: “I’d love to defend it three times so I can have it outright to keep on my mantelpiece.
“Sean Dodd and Thomas Stalker fight the week before me and Barrett for the Commonwealth title, so the goal would be to win the British then unify with the Commonwealth against whoever wins that.
“We want to go all the way to a world title and this is like the traditional way to do it, then going after the European belt after this. It’s the path we want to go down.”
Ritson was a top-class amateur who won numerous national and international titles boxing out of Forest Hall ABC.
After 12 professional fights, most recently winning the Northern Area title with a knockout win over Jordan Ellison, Ritson believes the time is right for him to step up to this level.
“I’ve had 12 fights and I’ve served my apprenticeship – good fights,” he said.
“I’ve had some ten-rounders but they haven’ been as tough as what Robbie’s had, so this is where we’ll find out what I’m all about. I know I have a lot to prove and I’m sure I will do that.
“There’ll be times in the fight where I’ll have to really dig deep – but I’ll make sure he’ll have to too.” Ritson admits that Barrett was not the man he expected to be challenging for the title.
The Yorkshireman (15-2-1) upset the odds to defeat Scotty Cardle to win the title back in May. Ritson had already been ordered to fight the winner by the board of control.
Ritson is Barrett’s first defence and will be eager to keep hold of the strap.
That’s no concern to Ritson though, who believes he and Barrett could serve up an entertaining fight for fans.
“We watched Barrett box against Cardle and, with all due respect, he was probably a lot better than we thought he was going to be.
“But at the same time I think it was more Cardle losing that fight than Barrett winning it. Cardle had him down twice and only had to win one more round but just didn’t seem to want to do it.
“He’s a good boxer – good on the back foot, but we’ve been training for that. We think we can get there and grind him down.”
He continued: “With me preferring to go forward more we’re thinking the two styles could gel well to make an intriguing fight.
“We think it might be tough for the first three or rounds to track him down, but eventually we’ll get there and we think the fight will get a bit more lively, which is how I want it.”
Tickets for the show are still available from Lewis directly or the Manchester Arena website. The show will also be
televised live on Sky Sports.
Source : Chroniclelive