Lewis Ritson kept his world super-lightweight title hopes intact with a near-perfect display against Dejan Zlaticanin in Newcastle.
The 29-year-old has now declared that he now wants more “big names” after handling the former lightweight champion with ease.
Ritson won by unanimous decision over the 10 rounds at Probellum Throwdown at the Utilita Arena and he only wants big fights in front of his hometown fans from here on in.
Ohara Davies had vowed to be at ringside on a scouting mission but changed his plans and wasn’t in Newcastle to challenge Ritson in person, after the pair exchanged barbs in various interviews.
The Newcastle United fan had batted off questions about a fight with Davies, in the build-up, but a clash with the out-spoken Londoner could be on the cards for this summer as both move up the 140lbs rankings.
“I’m ready and open to whatever Probellum, Richard Schaefer and Phil Jeffries offer me for my next fight,” said Ritson.
“But one thing is for certain, I only want big names and big fights for these fans in Newcastle. I want to thank them again tonight for their unbelievable support.”
Ritson headlined a stacked Probellum card in Newcastle which also saw Pat McCormack mark his professional debut with a brutal knockout win.
Troy Williamson kept hold of his British super-welterweight title in a classic scrap with Mason Cartwright while Mark Dickinson enhanced his reputation as a top prospect with an accomplished victory over six rounds.
In the evening’s last bout, which took place after Ritson’s win, Adam Cope out-pointed Ezequiel Gregores in a four rounder.
PROBELLUM THROWDOWN LIVE – PAT MCCORMACK WINS ON DEBUT AS TROY WILLIAMSON KEEPS BELT IN CLASSIC
NEWCASTLE, MARCH 25 – Pat McCormack announced himself as a professional with a vicious first round knockout win on his debut
The Olympic silver medallist landed a left hook to the body of Justin Menzie with just over 90 seconds left of the opening round at Probellum Throwdown in Newcastle.
Menzie was in agony from the expertly placed shot and was unable to beat the referee’s count.
McCormack’s huge home support at the Utilita Arena went wild and chanted ‘There’s only one Pat McCormack’ as they celebrated his perfect introduction to the paid ranks.
“I’m very happy, it was a good performance in front of all of these amazing fans,” McCormack said.
“Getting a first round stoppage on my debut, I couldn’t be happier.”
Earlier in the night, Troy Williamson dragged himself off the floor to out-point Mason Cartwright and retain his British super-welterweight title in a fight of the year contender.
Williamson was sent to the canvas in round two by the challenger and looked in big trouble in the early stages but the 30-year-old dug in to win scores of 116-111, 117-112 and 114-113 on the judges’ scorecards.
The Darlington man won the belt in a classic with Ted Cheeseman last year and delivered yet more drama in front of a frenzied crowd at the Utilita Arena.
“What a fight, what a fight!” said Sam Jones, Head of Talent Relations at Probellum.
“Huge credit to Mason. I thought some of the scorecards were too wide, I had it by one round for Troy, but what a fight.”
Cartwright said: “This was my first 12 rounder and we’ve just had a great fight – maybe we can do it again?”
Mark Dickinson picked up a valuable six rounds against the tough Hungarian Peter Kramer, winning 60-54 on the scorecard, and said: “He was a tough guy with a winning record so it was good to get the rounds in.
“These are the kind of fights I want, and you don’t see many fighters my age, in their third fight, going in with guys who have winning records.
“I want to say a big thank-you to the North East fans, they are the best fans in the country.”
Dickinson, a gym-mate of McCormack, is now 3-0.
Thomas Patrick Ward 100-90 Alexis Boureima Kabore
Ben Rees R1 technical draw Greg O’Neill
Joe Laws 57-58 Alexey Tukhtarov
Robert Ismay won TKO R4 Christian Adjoufack
Joe Maphosa 60-54 Santiago el Eusibio
Stephen Sayers won TKO R2 Darly Sharp
Alex Farrell 60-54 Konstantin Alexandrov