'An emergence of a new powerhouse' - Eddie Hearn believes Newcastle's Lewis Ritson is leading a renaissance of North East boxing
Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn has hailed the "emergence of a new powerhouse of British Boxing" as Newcastle's Lewis Ritson prepares for his European title tilt.
Ritson, managed by Phil Jeffries, is the hottest property in British boxing at the moment after a devastating 12 months.
The Forest Hall lightweight not only won the British title but also claimed the Lord Lonsdale belt outright, with three devastating knockout victories on the bounce.
And ahead of a step up in class to take on Francesco Patera at the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday, October 13, Hearn believes Ritson is at the head of a renaissance of the sport in the North East.
"It is like a renaissance. An emergence of a new powerhouse of British boxing in the North East in Newcastle," said Hearn, whose fighter beat Paul Hyland Jnr in one round at the venue back in October.
"It was a wonderful experience last time when Lewis won the British title outright.
"I want to say thank you for what has been created in this city.
"You cannot fail to embrace the passion when you come to certain cities - and last time out when Lewis had his ring walk, the reception was unexpected.
"We knew he had sold a load of tickets but what happened in that arena is something that you rarely see.
"I will never forget that experience, I don't think Lewis will or anyone who was there."
The manner in which Ritson has gone about his business in 2017 and 2018, would have many expecting another easy night's work for the man named by many as the Geordie Gennady Golovkin.
But Hearn knows things will not necessarily be straight forward - although he does have one eye on Ritson headlining a show at his hometown club Newcastle United for a world title one day.
"Now the journey really gets interesting," he said.
"You got from British title level to European title level with the idea of a world title opportunity for Lewis down the line.
"We know there is a long way to go - but with a city behind him he can go to a whole new level.
Hearn continued: "We have a bigger night on the cards and some bigger fights.
"We have some of the best talents in world boxing on show and one of the most popular men in British boxing in Dave Allen on show."