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Paul Hyland vows to make the most of British title chance

 

By David Kelly

Unbeaten Paul Hyland says he is ready to spoil the party when he challenges Lewis Ritson for his British lightweight title at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena on June 16.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has handed Ritson the opportunity of making a third defence of his title against Hyland in his home town but the Belfast man believes he can derail the champion's future plans and start an exciting new chapter of his own.

"I've been calling out the champions for the past two years, but finally I am in the position to get my chance and I have to thank Eddie Hearn and Mark Dunlop for pushing me to this point," said Hyland.

"I've wanted this title since I was an amateur boxer in the Immaculata club and Martin Lindsay came in and showed off his Lonsdale belt. Now the hard work starts and I am going to do everything I can to win it."

After a tight duel with Stephen Ormond last November, which had opinion divided on the outcome, there had been serious consideration about a re-match with the Dubliner, but now it seems Hyland has moved on from that rivalry and all his focus is on dethroning Ritson who will be making his third defence of the lightweight belt.

"I know that Ritson is a good boxer, I've seen a few of his fights so I know his style and I'll have a game plan which I will try to execute and if I do that then I'll get the belt," added Hyland.

"It's a massive opportunity for me. A win against Ritson can open the door to big things."

Hyland proved his mettle in the victory over Ormond as he admitted to having to go through the pain barrier.

"In the first half of the fight, I boxed the head off him, but then I cracked my jaw. The pain that went up my face was unbelievable, I couldn't believe it and as soon as I got back to my corner I told my dad, 'I think my jaw is broken'. He told me not to worry about it and focus on the fight, but I spent too much time focusing on the pain," he said.

"After the fight, I went to hospital and spent three to four months getting it sorted. I had to have check-ups every three weeks at Dundonald Hospital before the British Boxing Board of Control declared me fit to box."

Champion Ritson has taken his career to a new level with three successive stoppages of Robbie Barratt, Joe Murray and Scotty Cardle and now wants to win the Lonsdale belt outright.

"It's been a rollercoaster from the Barrett fight to now, three good performances and hopefully a fourth to come on June 16 in front of my home fans," said Ritson.

"Paul is unbeaten and he's definitely my toughest test to date. But I'll be ready with my great team behind me, he's confident and so am I, our styles will gel so that should make for a great fight for the fans. I want to go all the way to the top. You need a bit of luck in this game but hopefully I can get past Paul, who is a good fighter and one that I am not looking beyond."

Meanwhile, Tyson Fury has taken a step closer to a return to the ring after nearly two-and-a-half years away, with the former heavyweight world champion posting an image of his new BBBoC licence on social media.

Not only has the BBBoC granted Fury a licence to return to the sport, but they also appear to have granted him a manager's licence.

Fury, who has not boxed since beating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to win the WBA, IBF, WBO, The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles, plans to make his return at Manchester Arena on June 9, and posted a training montage onto his Instagram stories that showed the 29-year-old working out in the gym in preparation for his comeback - against a currently unknown opponent.

Posting a picture of his new licence on Instagram, Fury added: "Officially back! Watch me go!"

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