Carl Frampton backs Paul Hyland Jr to cause problems for British champion Lewis Ritson


Carl Frampton is backing his fellow Belfast man Paul Hyland Jr to take home the British title this weekend.

The Lagmore lightweight is an occasional sparring partner of featherweight Frampton and ‘The Jackal’ has seen the grit and the improvements in Hyland which lead him to believe that he will cause a shock on Saturday.

Hyland [18(7)-0] looks to stop Lewis Ritson [15(9)-0] from claiming the Lonsdale 135lbs belt outright at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, live on Sky Sports.

The Geordie is a heavy favourite for the clash with Hyland but two-weight world champion Frampton has warned against ruling out the Belfast war-lover.

“Despite what many across the water seem to think I believe he will be ready for the challenge,” he wrote in his weekly column for the Sunday Life.

“I can understand why Ritson is seen as the favourite because he is coming into the fight after three very good wins so he has momentum, he’s a big lightweight and is on the brink of winning the Lonsdale belt outright.”

“Having sparred Hyland a few times I think it is a mistake to take him so lightly in this fight because I would expect him to ask more questions of Ritson than any of his other previous opponents.”

“[Joe] Murray was probably past his best and [Scotty] Cardle’s tactics were just daft – he just seemed to have an ‘either I get knocked out or you do’ attitude.”

Indeed, with Ritson being built-up massively by Matchroom over the past few months, Frampton thinks the weight of expectation could be a factor on the night.

“Hyland is a really tough guy, he’s very, very determined and he goes into the fight without any pressure,” reasoned Frampton – who boxes next at Windsor Park on August 18th.

“All the pressure is on Ritson and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.”

“If Hylo is going to win the fight then he has to rip that belt away from Ritson. He can’t afford not to go in there and really go for it – show Ritson from the start that he’s in for a hard night.”

“That will immediately put more pressure on Ritson, particularly if he has gone into the fight thinking it’s just going to be an easy night’s work.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]