Ian Tims [13(4)-3(2)] isn’t thinking beyond enjoying “a good tear up” this coming Saturday.
The 37 year old challenges for the Irish cruiserweight title for the second time when he fights Swindon-Wexford puncher Luke Watkins [10(6)-0] at the SSE Odyssey Arena.
It’s over six years since ‘The Tank’ last captured the crown by coming out on top of a grudge match with Michael Sweeney at the Citywest. However, there is definitely a sanguine air to the the former three-time amateur king of Ireland going into this clash.
For one, there has been no trash talking ahead of the Burnett-Haskins undercard clash – and we don’t expect a weigh-in slap – but probably more telling is the fact the Clondalkin man isn’t approaching the fight thinking a title win could be a potential stepping stone.
The former St Matthews amateur seems to be living in the moment and is just looking forward to competitive fight this coming weekend.
“It’s always nice to win belts, but to be honest I haven’t had the career I should have. I got injuries and that. I am not saying I would have been World champion, but we could of had a better go of things. So at this stage I am just looking forward to fighting. That is were I am at right now,” he told Irish-Boxing.com at today’s press conference in Belfast.
“I feel good and I like a good tear up, we will see how this fight goes. I have trained well and I feel confident so let’s just get on with it,” he continued.
“The Irish title should never have been taken from me, but it was and it is what it is. It will be nice to get it back. I am not into all that trash talking. If people talk down to me I’ll give it back, but I never need to trash talk before a fight.”
While he hasn’t studied his upcoming opponent, Tims is expecting a tough fight, and the Dubliner believes he has the technical skill and nous to avoid ‘The Duke’s’ power.
The Phil Sutcliffe-trained hardman noted that “I know Luke is a good fella, Paddy Fitzpatrick has him and I know Paddy wouldn’t waste his time if hadn’t got some talent.”
“The training is done and I am just looking forward to getting in there now and fighting. It’s just hands high and watch out for any surprises. At this weight everyone can bang someway or another, so it’s hands high in general. We have been working on defence over the last few weeks. You’re never too old to learn!”
“I honestly haven’t watched him. You watch lads and you get things in your head, I’ll do this, I’ll do that and then they surprise you in the ring. I’ll just react to what he brings.”
“It’s Phil’s job to watch him and he has. He has given me a good game plan, but we will see what happens.”
“I just want to get in and enjoy the fight.”
The Burnett-Haskins undercard also features Feargal McCrory v Paul Holt, James Tennyson v Ryan Doyle, Paul Hyland Jr v Adam Dingsdale and appearances from Padraig McCrory, Paddy Gallagher, Sean Magee, and Tyrone McCullagh, as well as the return of Mike Perez.
Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought HERE.
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: