Big Tommy [11(6)-1(0)] went on the Mac attack when speaking to Irish-Boxing.com last week calling the Irish and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion a “bluffer,” and stressing his belief that the Paddy Fitzpatrick-trained fighter had no desire to share a ring with him.
The title keen Belfast fighter claimed the fight was in the pipeline on three separate occasions only for ‘The Duke’ to elect against it.
The Swindon-Wexford man refutes the three time suggestion, but does admit he turned down what is growing into a desired all-Irish clash once.
Watkins reveals talks never really got serious ahead of his Commonwealth title offer – a belt he went on to win and defend – before he turned down the chance to face the Commonwealth silver medalist because he felt the offer didn’t reflect his standing.
“That fight could happen tomorrow if we can dot the i’s and cross the t’s, ” Watkins told Irish-Boxing.com.
“We’ve only ever been in talks once properly and when we were in talks nothing was moving along and I was offered the Commonwealth. So I took my opportunity as any man would.”
“We were nominated for a British title eliminator. I was made an offer which I politely declined as the money wasn’t right. As a defending Commonwealth champion it was only right I was paid fair. That’s all I ask.”
Since winning the Irish title by stopping Ian Tims in Belfast last June the Swindon based cruiser has kicked on further both winning and defending the Commonwealth strap.
Although pride is the first thing Watkins feels when reflecting on that fourth-round stoppage win he does feel the victory over ‘The Tank’ did help increase his standing.
“Firstly I was honoured to fight for the Irish title as my first pro title and very proud to win it. Definitely, people saw Ian as a step up and I handled business accordingly. He was a good man and we did what good fighting men do.”
McCarthy, who believes he is at the very least British title ready, was hoping to tempt his Watkins to fight him on the massive Carl Frampton v Nonito Donaire card in Belfast on April 21st – and if an offer Watkins deems acceptable is put on the table it could still come to fruition – but first ‘The Duke’ has a March 3rd date to look forward to.
It also seems the undefeated puncher, who is on a four-fight stoppage run, is looking toward the British strap and has one eye on the winner of the St Patricks Day clash between McCarthy’s former foe Matty Askin and his MTK stable mate Stephen Simmons.
“I’m fighting back in my hometown Swindon on 3rd of March. I’d like to fight the winner in a unification for the British so I can unify the division and clear up domestically. But at the same time, I want to fight everyone and be in exciting fights that the fans want to see.”
“I look forward to fighting back over on Ireland at some point in the future.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish