Lewis Ritson vs. Miguel Vazquez on Oct.17 in Newcastle

Lewis Ritson will defend his WBA Inter-Continental Super-Lightweight Title against Mexico’s former long-reigning World Champion Miguel Vazquez on Saturday October 17, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Ritson (20-1, 12 KOs) was originally slated to face Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs) on April 4 in Newcastle before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the sporting world on its head and the event was postponed until a later date.

The Geordie favourite produced a career-best performance to beat bitter rival Robbie Davies Jr in an enthralling Fight of the Year candidate last time out in October to stay in line for a shot at the WBA Super-Lightweight crown.

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Vazquez previously held the IBF Lightweight World Title for four years, making six defences of the title in that time, before losing to Mickey Bey via a controversial split decision in Las Vegas, and will provide a tough test for 26-year-old Ritson.

Also on the card, exciting Welterweight prospect Joe ‘Benwell Bomber’ Laws (9-0, 5 KOs) looks to progress to 10-0, 2016 Rio Olympian Qais Ashfaq (8-0, 3 KOs) returns in a Super-Bantamweight contest, Glasgow Bantamweight talent Kash Farooq (13-1, 6 KOs) makes his debut as a Matchroom fighter and West Rainton’s Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0, 4 KOs) resumes his World Title charge.

“I’ve had no time off,” said Ritson. “I’ve been in the gym the full year training hard, staying ready and waiting for a date to be confirmed. Nothing has really changed and now it’s full steam ahead for October 17.

“If I bring my A game then I’ll be very hard to beat and that’s what I’m planning on doing. We know what Miguel Vazquez is all about, he’s going to be a real test for me. I’ve had top level sparring with the likes of Josh Taylor that has kept me fresh.

“Once I get the win on October 17 I’m going to have a week off and then get straight back in the gym. I want to fight again by the end of the year, hopefully Eddie can keep the big fights coming. I want to keep pushing towards that WBA World Title, that’s the main goal for me.”

SCOTNEY: I’M GOING TO ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT

Worth the wait. That is the feeling of Ellie Scotney as she prepares to trade leather for the first time as a professional this weekend.

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The 22-year-old had been scheduled to make her highly-anticipated professional debut on the undercard of the David Avanesyan-Josh Kelly European Title showdown at The O2 at the end of March.

Lockdown got in the exciting Londoner’s way but almost seven months on, her first contest is finally here as she faces Swindon’s Bec Connolly over six rounds in Peterborough, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

“I’m just looking to get in there, I’m buzzing,” said Scotney. “It’s second time lucky after the first one got called off, I’m just grateful for the opportunity given the world we’re in at the moment.”

A smile is never far away from the bubbly Adam Booth-managed Featherweight who hopes to impose her thrilling style on the pro game.

“I like to do a bit of both, but I do like to get involved! I hope I don’t disappoint the fans, I do like to fight but hope I can be smart with it. I had 40 fights as an amateur and boxed all over the world.

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“But pro boxing is a different game and I feel my style and my character is going to suit that, I just can’t wait to get in there. A career is short-lived so I’m going into it to enjoy every minute of it and make the most of everything.”

A highly-accomplished amateur, Scotney was tipped for an Olympic place in Tokyo but instead signed a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

Standing in her way at the East of England Arena is the experienced Connolly (3-7), who has fought a number of top girls including Terri Harper, Natasha Jonas and Rachel Ball. So what is Ellie expecting?

“I’m ready for a top Beccs turning up, I wouldn’t expect anything less,” she said. “I’m well prepared and ready to get down to work. Two weeks ago I handed in my resignation at B&Q, I think they were happy to receive it. This is the next chapter.”

Scotney vs. Connolly is part of a huge night of boxing at the East of England Arena in Peterborough, Geordie favourite Lewis Ritson (20-1, 12 KOs) takes on former long-reigning World Champion Miguel Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs), 2016 Rio Olympian Qais Ashfaq (8-0, 3 KOs) meets Salford’s Marc Leach (14-1-1, 3 KOs) in a Final Eliminator for the British Super-Bantamweight Title, Joe ‘Benwell Bomber’ Laws (9-0, 5 KOs) takes on Norwich’s Rylan Charlton (5-0-1, 2 KOs) over six rounds at Super-Lightweight and West Rainton’s Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0, 4 KOs) fights Thomas Essomba (10-6, 4 KOs) over ten rounds at Super-Bantamweight.

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