By Elliot Foster
Lewis Ritson won the British lightweight title outright in sensational style.
The 24-year-old took just eight months to win the crown he snatched away from Robbie Barrett last year.
Ritson stopped Barrett in Manchester last October and now has it for keeps after three incredible inside-the-distance victories.
‘The Sandman’ secured defences against Joe Murray and Scott Cardle, in a combined three rounds earlier this year – in February and March – and he looked superb at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle against his mandatory challenger Paul Hyland Jr.
The Belfast challenger came out and fought fire with fire in the early stages of the opener, but that proved to be his downfall as he was dropped three times.
"Every belt I win, that will go on my Dad's mantelpiece, not mine,” said Ritson in the aftermath as he handed the title to his father. "He has trained me since I was eight years old.”
"With support like this, Eddie Hearn cannot go anywhere else," he continued after unleashing shots which floored his foe three times during the fight, which was called off with less than 10 seconds to go in the opener by Fleetwood’s Steve Gray.
Hearn echoed the sentiments of Ritson while thanking the fans who came out to support their man. He also said that it is time for him to move into European class – a belt that is currently held by Edis Tatli – and that the home of Newcastle United FC, St James’ Park, is the ultimate goal for the Tyne and Wear man, with a world title the main aim.
Ritson has a holiday planned in the next few weeks with his girlfriend but the hope is that he can be back in action again, for a fourth time this year, before the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, Glenn Foot stayed busy with a points win over Sam Omidi.