By Ben Jacobs

Fresh off a career best performance in Newcastle, England, Francesco Patera will defend his EBU European Lightweight title on February 16 2019 against Frenchman, Marvin Petit.

“I’m very happy to be fighting soon and the fight will be in Belgium so my family, friends and my girlfriend can all come and watch – it’s nice,” the 25-year-old told

Patera was a clear underdog entering his contest last month against local favourite Lewis Ritson who was unbeaten and riding an eight-fight knockout streak prior to facing the Genk native.  Despite the odds, Francesco believed after a couple of rounds that he was going to emerge with his hand raised in victory.

“They were talking about his power and he always won by knockout, but when he hit me in the first round, I was already thinking I could get through it.  He wasn’t hurting me or anything, so I felt pretty confident after the first round.

“He never really hurt me in the fight, he had power but nothing I hadn’t felt before, it was just normal power,” he continued.

“I expected more and felt comfortable in there.”

As the fight developed with Patera taking control, he started to land several body shots which seemed to hurt his opponent.

“I actually ended up hurting him! 

“I knew I had power in my hands and I think they underrated me.  I thought I could finish him because he was hurt badly but he hung in there so credit to him.”

Patera attributes his fitness and work-ethic as one of the key reasons for his win and his continued improvement in the game.  He also believes it is likely that he will fight again in the UK after having a good experience at the Metro Radio Arena.

“For every fight I train really hard and I knew I was ready for the 12 rounds.  The training camp that I had was really good, the conditioning was perfect.  I enjoyed fighting in front of the Newcastle crowd and I hope I can come back to England soon, I like it there.  I think it will happen as I have a bit of name there now.  I like Eddie (Hearn) so I hope he brings me back to England.

“The main goal now is to fight for a world title,” he affirmed.

“At the moment Mikey García and (Vasyl) Lomachenko are two of the best fighters pound for pound, they are a level above so we have to keep training, keep getting better for these guys. 

“I think Luke Campbell is mandatory for the vacant WBC (World Boxing Council) belt and I’d like to fight him.  He’s a good fighter, tactically very good and he is a tricky southpaw.  It would be a completely different fight from the Ritson one.”