Paul Hyland Jr ready to take Lewis Ritson’s British title and ‘next big thing’ tag


Paul Hyland Jr [17(6)-0] has warned British lightweight champion Lewis Ritson [15(9)-0] that he is a totally different proposition to the last two fighters he defended his title against.

Ritson has shot to prominence recently, claiming the Lonsdale belt with a stoppage victory over Robbie Barrett before defending it twice in quick succession by taking out Joe Murray and former champ Scott Cardle in the first and second round respectively.

The victories, and the manner in which they have transpired, have seen some deserved hype build up around the Matchroom man, but Hyland – who himself changed his career with three TV wins last year – claims he has seen enough to suggest he can burst the Newcastle man’s bubble.

‘Hylo’ has been installed as the mandatory challenger but needs Floyd Moore in Belfast on April 14th before he gets his shot. The Lagmore man though adamant he will pose a lot more of a threat than Ritson’s recent foes.

Indeed, the 27-year-old believes he can win and take Ritson’s title and next big thing tag.

“The fight between Ritson and Cardle didn’t last long so there wasn’t much to see, but I saw enough weaknesses,” Hyland said when speaking to Belfast Live.

“Cardle landed with some big blows in the first round so Ritson can be hit. Cardle also only had three weeks to train for the fight so it was all or nothing for him in the first few rounds. He knew he couldn’t go the distance.”

“I will be a totally different proposition for Ritson when we fight, and I am confident I will beat him.

“People keep talking about him being the next big thing, and how he could go on and win a world title. But I can beat him, and I will.”

A win over Moore should secure Hyland the away corner spot for the undefeated 24-year-old who is set to co-headline a show with Josh Kelly on June 16th.

However, there seems to be a loophole for ‘The Sandman’, with Hyland’s manager Mark Dunlop saying that Eddie Hearn doesn’t want to put Ritson in with the Belfast man.

Ritson won’t have to take his mandatory if he trades leather for another title and it seems Eddie Hearn is lining up the winner of the May 5th clash between Commonwealth champion Sean Dodd and Tommy Coyle for the British lightweight title holder.

Hearn’s plans will see Ritson fight at the Metro Radio Arena on June 16th – and the Matchroom boss also has hinted at bringing Ryan Burnett to Belfast in the Summer and would no doubt want ticket seller Hyland on that card.

‘Hylo’ is aware of the situation, but knows victory over Moore on April 14th will mean he will secure a British title tilt regardless. It’s just a case of when, where and against who.

“I am mandatory for the British title, but apparently Ritson can side-step me if he fights for another title,” Hyland explained.

“So it depends what they decide to do, but I am here and I have earned my chance. I am mandatory for that British title and I want that belt.

“You never know what will happen. Boxing is a business at the end of the day and his team will do what makes them most money.”

“I just have to make sure I take care of Floyd Moore on April 14th and then we will plot our next move.

“There is talk of Ritson and me fighting in June, so I intend staying in training after my April 14th fight and just working right through. I am fit and I am hungry. I will be ready for whatever comes my way.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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