Newcastle super lightweight Lewis Ritson is hoping to silence his critics and put on a strong performance when he returns to the ring this evening.

Ritson takes on Jeremais Ponce in an IBF title final eliminator fight at the Newcastle Eagles Arena.

While the Tyneside man has one defeat to his professional record, the Argentine Ponce is unbeaten in his career with 27 victories and 17 knockouts.

“I’ve seen quite a few of his fights and I think he can only fight one way and that’s coming forward” Riston says.

“Every fight I’ve seen he’s done the same thing.

“I hope he can’t do what Vasquez did because he’ll be struggling again but I think you will have seen a few interviews this week where he’s said he’s confident of stopping me between rounds 4-9.

“I think he’s got it in his head that he’s going to come and have a go and that’s what we’re going to do so it should be an exciting fight.

“If you look at the opponents that have been coming over and causing the upsets, I know records are dangerous.

“He’s going to come and take confidence at seeing the upsets. We’ve just got to make sure we are on our game and that we’re not going to let him cause an upset.”

In Ritson’s last fight, he earned a controversial points win over Miguel Vasquez. Pundits and fans have said the judges scorecard was questionable and his trainer, his father Mike, said he didn’t win the fight. The 27-year-old says that doesn’t play on his mind.

“I don’t bare that fight on my shoulders but I know I need to put a good performance up and need to win convincingly.

“Especially when I was lightweight and I had that fight against Robbie (Davies Jr) and I had people back talking about me again.

“I put a Fight of the Year performance in against Robbie and for it to be that performance against Vasquez was a bit disappointing for myself really.

“We know we’re going to have to put a big performance in and win.

Around 1,000 spectators will be allowed in the Eagles Arena to witness the event which is something Ritson is relishing to see when he steps into the ring.

“It looked like it was going to be a very long time. I thought that I don’t want to do too many fights in a bubble with no crowd there because it wasn’t very nice.

“It wasn’t my cup of tea. There’s been a few fighters that have upset the apple cart on the Matchroom show with the bubble being there so I’m just thankful fans are there because it does make a massive difference.

“It’s only 1,000 fans but you’ll be able to hear them screaming and shouting and that’s probably what I need as a fighter.

“I’ve already had a stern warning off my dad. It’s going to be loud in there, it always is.

“We’ve got a bit of gameplan we need to stick to. I’ve been badly hit in the past.

"Stick to the plan, no matter how loud the roar is. Hopefully it all comes off on Saturday."