Lewis Ritson and Josh Kelly both headlined in the North East on this day in 2018
Eddie Hearn had noticed two stars of his stable came from the North East, so gave them a co-headline act in the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. Josh Kelly's challenge for Kris George's Commonwealth title, and Lewis Ritson's attempt to win his British title against Paul Hyland Jr would be the two headliners.
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Ritson would enter his bout to deafening noise, as the local man entered the Arena to a tremendous ovation. Ritson would win his British title outright in this bout, and did it in quick fire fashion, as he dropped the previously unbeaten Hyland three times in the first round, resulting in a TKO victory for the local man, who had been proven a serious crowd draw in the North East.
Kelly being a Sunderland fan didn't receive a reception quite as atmospheric as Ritson, but still had a fine following willing him on. Kelly would win the Commonwealth title from George, as he dominated the Australian man, leading to George being pulled out at the end of the seventh, with two suspected broken hands and a broken jaw.
The undercard saw the English cruiserweight title contested between Arfan Iqbal and Simon Vallily. Vallily would have two points deducted in this bout, one for using his head, and one for rabbit punching, this ultimately lead to the fight ending as a split decision draw, meaning Iqbal retained his belt. Charlie Edwards returned on this card, and put on a fine display as he stopped Anthony Nelson in three rounds.
Gavin McDonnell took on former world champion Stuart Hall, with McDonnell's WBC international title on the line. McDonnell would put on a composed performance to retain his title by unanimous decision. Former three weight world champion Ricky Burns had his 50th bout on this card as he would defeat Ivan Njegac.
Super lightweight Commonwealth champion at the time Glenn Foot would have a four round tune up fight on this bill in preparation for his upcoming British title unification against Robbie Davies Jr, as he would earn a shut out victory over Sam Omidi. Jake Haigh would move to 10-0 with a points victory over Adam Jones.
Darren Reay kept his record unblemished as he moved to 3-0 following a win over Mwenya Chisanga. Lawrence Osueke would also move to 3-0 as he would defeat Remigijus Ziausys by a shut out points decision.
Finally, Chad Ellis climbed off the canvas in the third round to move to 2-0, as he got the decision over Kevin McCauley.