LEWIS RITSON makes the first defence of his British lightweight title against Joe Murray in the latest installment of the JDNXTGEN series at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on Sunday February 25, live on Sky Sports.
Ritson landed the crown in impressive fashion in October when he stopped Robbie Barrett with a seventh round stoppage in Manchester, and the unbeaten Newcastle ace takes the first steps to landing the title outright against local man Murray.
‘Genius’ Joe challenges for a British title for a second time having taken on Liam Walsh for the super-featherweight strap in 2015, and the 31 year old will be confident of ending Ritson’s reign at the first hurdle with an unbeaten eight fight run since taking on Walsh, but the champion is ready to be unleashed after waiting patiently to defend the belt.
“It’s been very frustrating; a few people have been offered to fight me since the Barrett win and have turned down the chance to challenge for my British title,” said Ritson. “That has been disappointing but I’m pleased to have a date locked in.
“I’ve read an article for Murray saying he would knock me and Barrett out in under two rounds so it’ll be interesting to see if he can back up his words. It’ll be a nice change to fight someone that will come to fight.
“The plan is to bank three defences and win the belt outright then hopefully look to push on and look at the European. I’m not overlooking Joe, he’s a good fighter but I think I’ll have too much for him. It’ll be a good fight for the fans I’m sure.”
A stacked bill of talent joins Ritson on the card, as Qais Ashfaq makes his debut under the Matchroom Boxing banner, with Tasha Jonas continuing her path to a World title shot, her Joe Gallagher gym mates Hosea Burton, Marcus Morrison and Sam Hyde tasting their first action of the year, unbeaten Dave Coldwell trained talent Jordan Gill is in action as is exciting Northampton super-welterweight Kieron Conway.