By Elliot Foster
Lewis Ritson produced an emphatic stoppage win against Robbie Barrett to claim the British lightweight title.
The unbeaten Newcastle fighter dominated Barrett, 25, from the first bell and after dropping the Yorkshireman on four occasions at the Manchester Arena claimed the belt after the champion's corner threw in the towel.
Barrett came into the contest hoping to make the first defence of the coveted Lonsdale belt, having shocked Scott Cardle last time out, and although the southpaw proved tough and determined, Ritson was a class above.
It was a razor-sharp start from 'Sandman', who went straight on the attack, landing crunching combinations as he forced Barrett back onto the ropes in the opener.
Things immediately went from bad to worse for the defending champion as he was heavily dropped following a punishing assault from Ritson.
Ritson’s defences were breached on a few occasions in the next few rounds, but he quickly assumed control of the contest once more.
After a fairly evenly contested fifth round, 'Sandman' again upped the tempo in the next and twice dropped the champion following ferocious shots to the body.
Ritson sensed that the finish was near and oozing in confidence, he relentlessly fired away on Barrett, repeatedly landing flush combinations in a torrid round for the Yorkshireman.
The end came in the seventh when, after Barrett was again dropped by a body shot, his trainer Stefy Bull mercifully threw in the towel.
“I'm over the moon with the victory and have always imagined being British champion,” Ritson said afterwards.
“I felt a bit sorry for Barrett because I couldn't really feel his power.
“Scott Cardle and Sean Dodd are two of the biggest names on the domestic scene so I would love to fight one of them next.”
Elsewhere, there was major disappointment for Sam Eggington as he dropped a points decision to succumb his European welterweight crown.
‘Savage’ admitted afterwards that he would have to move up to the 154-pound division following defeat at the hands of mandatory challenger Mohamed Mimoune by margins of 116-112 115-113, while one judge scored it 116-112 to Eggington.
Eggington had serious issues dealing with Mimoune's boxing ability as very tired in the late rounds. He admitted afterwards to struggling with weight and said a move to junior middleweight was necessary in order to continue his career.
Eggington, who won four in a row by knockout, drops down to 21-4, 13 KOs. And Mimoune raised his record to 19-2 with only 2 wins by knockout.