Dubliner Tims is the number one-ranked cruiserweight on the island while Swindon-born Watkins, whose mother hails from Wexford, occupies third place on the Boxing Union of Ireland’s ladder.
Clare coach Fitzpatrick spoke to Irish-Boxing.com about the situation and is confident that, one way or another, ‘The Duke’ will fight for the green belt on St Patrick’s Weekend 2017.
The Ennis man revealed that he has been in contact with the BUI regarding a title fight for his man and has been instructed to first work with Tims and his team for his fight. Should ‘The Tank’ rather go in a different direction, Watkins is free to put forward any other eligible opponent for the BUI’s consideration.
Fitzpatrick explained that he has recently reached out to Macklin’s Gym Marbella, who handle Timsey’s career, and is awaiting a reply. The Swindon-based coach is willing to work with MGM to make a fight, but noted that he is prepared to bid a “large amount” should the fight go to purse bids.
The former trainer of one-time Irish middleweight champ Eamonn O’Kane, described how he has already booked a venue in Swindon for St Patrick’s Weekend. However, he also admits that, should Top Rank and MGM need Irish fighters for the undercard of Mick Conlan’s professional debut at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, then an Irish title fight between TIms and Watkins is a “realistic” option.
Fitzpatrick has no preference who Watkins will face for the belt, but acknowledges that “Ian [Tims], like the rest of us, isn’t getting any younger, and a fight with The Duke, the #6-ranked cruiser in Britain, for the Irish title would be a massive fight.”
36 year old Tims recently signed with MGM and rejoined old trainer Phil Sutcliffe Jr, scoring an impressive comeback win over Remigijus Ziausys in Belfast earlier this month.
Watkins has recently suffered from some niggling injuries but returns to the ring on November 26th on a Black Country Boxing show in Swindon which will be co-promoted by Eamonn O’Kane’s ‘King Kane Promotions.’