Lewis Ritson believes having no crowd in attendance could lead to a better performance in his fight against Miguel Vazquez this weekend.

Ritson (20-1, 12 KOs) makes his highly-anticipated return to the ring when he faces former world champion Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs) on a Matchroom Boxing show live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Usually, thousands of passionate Newcastle fans would be cheering Ritson on, but he thinks not having that extra pressure on his shoulders could be a positive.

Ritson said: “I’m ready more than ever. The next step is trying to get past Vazquez. If we can get past him, then I will start mentioning the other names. I’ve been sparring a lot of good fighters which has been great, and I’m expecting a really good performance on Saturday.

It will be weird with the fans not being there, but that means there is less pressure on me and I’ll put on a better performance. We won’t go out there looking for the stoppage, we’ll just see how the fight goes.”

Saturday’s bill also features world-ranked Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0, 4 KOs) as he looks to move one step closer to a world title shot when he faces Thomas Essomba (10-6, 4 KOs).

Ward said: “I’ve had a change of opponent but it doesn’t matter who I’m fighting. I’m focused and ready to go on Saturday. Every fight has to be won, it doesn’t matter the calibre of opponent.

“I’m pushing for a world title and I believe I’ll beat any of the world champions. I’ve got a good fight on my hands on Saturday against Essomba and then in 2021 the aim is to get that world title shot.”