The world title aspirations of Lewis Ritson (23-2, 13 KOs) continued to rebuild tonight in Newcastle after a clear points win over Dejan Zlaticanin.
After an opening round where it looked like the Montenegrin could turn back the clock with his powerful left-hand Ritson soon grabbed the fight and took control.
Eight years ago, Ricky Burns felt the power of a Zlaticanin left and recovered for a highly debatable split decision win. After a few scares in the opening three minutes Ritson imposed his size and strength from the second onwards.
The Geordie fighter continually used his jab to great effect which kept Zlaticanin (24-4, 16 KOs) at bay for the remaining nine rounds. With the stick working Ritson could begin to add variety with the uppercut on the smaller opponent a telling shot throughout. The former British lightweight
champion, now at super-lightweight, grew in confidence and began adding three and four punch combinations.
Zlaticanin, now 37, would look to roll under and then begin an attack, but Ritson was often out of range or had enough to catch the lack of work coming his way.
Despite a late-night start and a drop in attendance it was a mature performance from Ritson who suffered a bruising and heavy defeat to Jeremias Ponce nine months ago. Zlaticanin offered little in the end. His trademark left hand landed at the very end of the final round, but Ritson ran away with the fight overall which was reflected in the scorecards of 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91.
Ritson is currently just outside the top 10 with the IBF and WBA and can possibly look forward to fights against fellow Probellum 140lbrs Tyrone McKenna and Ohara Davies in the future.