Geordie lightweight sensation Lewis Ritson returns to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle this weekend, as he takes on Francesco Patera for the vacant EBU European lightweight title.

Patera is no stranger to the U.K., having lost a close decision to Birkenhead’s Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd for the WBC International title in 2016. However, the Belgian would go on to beat Finland’s Edis Tatli by split decision to win the European title the following May.

The rematch would see the 25-year-old drop the title via unanimous decision to Tatli: which the Fin would later vacate, leaving Patera in position to challenge for the title once more.

Power-punching Ritson will be looking to impress with another typically brutal performance, after winning the British lightweight title outright last time out with a crushing first round knockout of the previously unbeaten Paul Hyland Jr. in June.

With 19 wins and three losses to his name – all by decision – Patera will likely prove to be the toughest opponent of Ritson’s career. If ‘The Sandman’ is able to produce a knockout victory, it would further enhance his growing reputation as one of the sport’s hardest-hitting prospects.

Provided Ritson comes through Patera on Saturday night, a mandatory title defence against Marvin Petit has already been ordered, but after that, there are plenty of exciting domestic options for the likeable Forest Hall native.

Saturday night’s show also includes red hot light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi’s return to action, making the first defence of his WBA International title against former Anthony Yarde opponent Tony Averlant.

After claiming the title back in July with a first round knockout of Andrejs Pokumeiko in just his seventh professional fight, Buatsi will no doubt look to go one better than potential future opponent Yarde when faced with Frenchman Averlant.

Having seen Yarde dispatch of Averlant in seven one-sided rounds at York Hall in February, the onus will be on the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist to lay down a marker ahead of a possible showdown between the pair.

Elsewhere, Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr. takes on Sunderland’s Glenn Foot for the British and Commonwealth super lightweight titles, while popular heavyweight Dave Allen returns to the ring after his ‘life-changing’ win over Nick Webb when he faces Germany’s Samir Nebo in a ten round bout.

Article by: Emmily Simcock

Follow Emmily on Twitter at: @emmily_jane