Lewis Ritson (right) and Francesco Patera in action during the EBU Lightweight Championship at Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle.

It has been two months since Forest Hall boxer Lewis Ritson (17-1-0 11KO) was handed his first loss on a split decision against Francesco Patera.

It is clear the ‘sandman’ will not fight again until 2019 but the question still remains on who he will fight next after what had been a blockbuster year.

To add some background, Ritson had won the British Lightweight title outright within four fights, three of which this year which included a brutal first-round stoppage of Paul Hyland Jr.

Going up against Patera for the EBU Lightweight title Ritson looked to be cruising to a win until a brutal body shot in the 5th round knocked the wind out of his sails and allowed Patera to outbox the Geordie.

Recently the British Boxing Board of Control have ordered Ritson to defend his British Lightweight belt against Andy Townend (22-4-0 14KO) who has worked extremely hard to earn the opportunity.

The BBBC are also rumoured to have ordered Joe Cordina (8-0-0 6KO) to fight Craig Evans (19-2-2 3KO) as an final eliminator with potentially Ritson facing the winner.

Cordina would be an interesting prospect with both fighters highly rated by promoter Eddie Hearn and a win for either fighter would lead to prospects on a European and even world level.

Another potential fight for Ritson would be a rematch with Patera, given the close nature of the first fight it would be a bout that makes sense should Ritson make the improvements in camp.

A third option would be to move up weight to Super Lightweight and attempt winning the British title at that weight against Robbie Davies Jr, or even push on to European level again.

Awaiting him for a potential bout for the EBU Super Lightweight would be Swede Anthony Yigit (21-1-1 7KO) who has defended the belt twice.

Yigit who lost to Ivan Baranchyk in the World Boxing Super Series in October would be a step up in class from Patera, however this type of bout would be for later in 2019 and a potential for Ritsons desire to fight at St James Park.

A final option and one that Ritson himself has said he would like would be Hull based fighter Tommy Coyle (25-4-0 12KO).

Coyle who holds the Commonwealth Lightweight strap after beating Sean Dodd in Liverpool back in April would be a perfect matchup for Ritson, especially if the belt was put on the line.

Whoever Lewis Ritson faces in 2019 we can be sure he will be up for the challenge whether he is fighting at the Metro Arena or St James Park, Newcastle will be behind him more than ever.