THOUGH he won’t need reminding, the last time Newcastle’s Lewis Ritson boxed in front of his home fans he suffered his first professional defeat and discovered pro boxing is about more than just punch power.
His opponent that night in October 2018 was Belgian Francesco Patera, who left the North East with the vacant European lightweight title, and left Ritson with the job of having to start again.
It was, for Ritson and his promotional team, as painful as it was unexpected. Nobody saw it coming and nobody knew quite how to react. The hype train skidded to a halt, then it rerouted. Ritson, meanwhile, had to rebuild.