Eddie Hearn opened up to WBN on the possibility of a St James Park show in the future for ‘unexpected hero’ Lewis Ritson.
The promoter lauded the British champion but also issued a word of warning to the popular Geordie.
Ritson and fellow North East fighter Josh Kelly are co-headlining at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle this Saturday night, where Kelly will fight for the Commonwealth title against Kris George and Ritson will be looking to win the Lonsdale belt outright with a win against Paul Hyland Jr.
Discussing the two headline acts, promoter Eddie Hearn exclusivly told World Boxing News: ”They have to win on Saturday, Kelly’s had six fights and he’s only been pro a year, he’s already boxed Carlos Molina, he’s WBA international champion and he’s challenging for the Commonwealth.
“You have two very different characters, Lewis Ritson is the unexpected hero and then you have Josh Kelly: the pretty boy, the golden boy, the Olympian.”
Hearn revealed in the press conference that Ritson is the biggest individual ticket-seller he’s ever had alongside Anthony Crolla and it has been a remarkable rise for a man who was applying for factory work this time last year.
“Yes I have been surprised, to sell 1300, 1400 tickets out of his hand is amazing, that’s not just because he is on the show with respect to Lewis Ritson, it’s because it’s a great show,” Hearn said.
“It’s the way he fights that’s what’s so exciting; he has to be careful you can’t just get in your head you’re an unbreakable force. You seen in the Cardle fight, he took a lot of shots and that was unexpected and if it was a bigger puncher it might have been a different result.
“He has to learn he has to improve, one of the biggest things is for him to be taken in by the hype, it’s all good and well saying Campbell Crolla and world title fights, but if he gets beaten at British level it all comes crashing down – it’s happened loads of times, look at Scotty Cardle.” Hearn added.
Seeing this show as a ‘renaissance’ for North East boxing, Hearn has big plans for his two new stars.
“What’s happened to Lewis Ritson is incredible and if he wins on Saturday we will be back here in September, we’re expecting 8000 and 5000 would have been great.
“St James Park? He’d have to fight for a world title, but he could fill that place, it’s the way he fights.
“He’s not like Lomachenko; this crafty guy, but he has to be careful because he will come up against a puncher and Hyland can punch.”
Thomas Davison is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Thomas on Twitter @thomasdavison93