Fighting talk: Lewis Ritson must take inspiration from Tony Bellew's 'Cinderella Man' story as he bids to take light-welterweight scene by storm

At light-welterweight, the world is North East boxing star Lewis Ritson's oyster.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 1:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 1:28 pm
Lewis Ritson, of Forest Hall, in the aftermath of defeat on home turf last time out.

Well, I say world, he doesn't even have to leave these shores to take on some of the very best in the division, all of which have the potential to big city, barnstorming, domestic bouts.

You've got a massive Liverpool v Newcastle contest against Robbie Davies Jnr, with an added bit of local spice given that the Scouser ripped Glenn Foot's Commonwealth crown off him late last year, to add to his British strap.

Tony Bellew (left) with David Haye (right).

There's a fight against one of Manchester's best on the cards in the shape of former world titlist Terry Flanagan the much closer to the top of the global scene is Hull's own Olympic hero Luke Campbell as well as possibly the best of the lot in Josh Taylor, who has been selling out halls in and around the Scottish central belt for years now.

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Then there's unbeaten rising Matchroom stablemate Jack Catterall as well as Sunderland campaigner Foot, who is yet to decide whether he will hang up his gloves after a distinguished career, but one which is constantly undervalued by supposed experts in the game.

Ritson's team, as we all know is Newcastle United, and it will be interesting to see how he copes with beating up a Benitez, when he takes on German Argentino Benitez at London's Copper Box Arena tonight.

Benitez is a bit of a gimme for Ritson, who will need to settle into the heavier weight class, having lost his last European title fight against Francesco Patera at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena.

He's not boiling down to the weight now, and has some extra pounds to play with.

Some pundits think he might be worse off for the shift up - I'm in no doubt it will do him the world of good.

He had knock out power at 135lbs, it'll carry up to 140lbs, too.

Just look at recently retired Tony Bellew, another very unlikely British boxing hero.

He failed at light heavyweight, got knocked out and looked a spent force.

Then he went up to cruiserweight and looked a whole different animal, even holding his own - and his power - at heavyweight.

Bellew has shown it can be done, hopefully Ritson can further underline that overlooked theory.