Luke Watkins [9(5)-0] will not challenge for the Irish title in Swindon on Saturday, March 18th. However, the cruiserweight of Wexford descent will still face the toughest test of his career.
27 year old Watkins had hoped to fight Ian Tims in an Irish title fight, which had been authorised by the Boxing Union of Ireland, however an agreement could not be reached despite a venue having already been secured.
In the place of this mooted match-up, it has been confirmed today that ‘The Duke’ will face Somerset fighter Henry Smith [6(1)-3(1)] on the St Patrick’s Weekend card.
During his first spell in boxing, Smith caused an upset win against Young Fury, brother of Tyson. Since returning last year he has racked up wins over Darren Snow and Remigijus Ziausys.
The 38 year old Cheddar fighter, managed by Chris Sanigar, lives quite close to Watkins and the pair have sparred in the past.
It is a match-up that would have made a perfect BBBoC Southern Area title fight, however, on the same night in London, Wadi Camacho and Karl Wheeler will contest the vacant belt.
Full details on the card are expected to be released tomorrow.
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show