Former British lightweight champion Lewis Ritson (23-3, 13 KOs) is confident that he holds too much experience when he takes to the ring this weekend in Leeds against welterweight Paddy Donovan (13-0, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round contest.

Ritson returns to action for the first time following his defeat to Ohara Davies in a super–lightweight world title eliminator, held in his home town of Newcastle, losing inside nine rounds. 

“The Sandman,” now aged 30, seven years ago introduced himself to the masses in the U.K. with a devastating British lightweight title win in 2017 against Robbie Barrett and proceeded to drop the titleholder four times across seven rounds. 

Successful title defenses were notched against Joe Murray, Scott Cardle, and Paul Hyland Jr. in double-quick time to own the British title outright. 

Despite domestic success, Ritson’s career has since failed to deliver on the promise he once demonstrated with defeats to Francesco Patera (2018) and Jeremias Nicolas Ponce (2021). 

But Ritson said he was entering the contest against the talented Irishman Donovan with a good training camp in the bank.

“It’s a massive chance and a great card to be on. I’m just happy to be here feeling nice and relaxed, strong and feeling fit for a change going into fight week. I’m looking forward to putting on a good performance on Saturday night,” Ritson said.

“I can’t believe the difference to what this fight camp has been like compared to the rest of them; it’s massive. I know we have a very tough fight on Saturday. Paddy is no mug, but I’m feeling really good, and we think we can pull the job off.”

Ritson represents a significant step up in opposition to the Andy Lee-trained Donovan. Ritson acknowledges that outboxing the former Irish amateur standout will be challenging but is backing his experience to see him through.

“We’re not stupid, we’re not going to outbox Paddy, he’s a great boxer. But he’s never been where we have been before,” Ritson said.