“Watkins is the priority now” – Ian Tims targeting Irish title fight

Ian Tims [13(4)-3(2)] is confident he will get the chance to win back a title he ‘should have never been stripped of’ in his next clash.

While ‘The Tank’ claims there is nothing confirmed,and revealed he is comfortable to let MTK to chose his next opponent, he is both hopeful and confident that the answer to the ‘what’s next’ is Luke Watkins [9(5)-0].

The former Irish cruiserweight champion registered his first knockout win since 2011 in Scotland last week, finishing off Attila Palko in the fifth round, and he believes there is some truth behind the Luke Watkins rumours.

The veteran tough man believes a previously authorised Irish title fight with the Paddy Fitzpatrick-trained 27 year awaits, and claims it could lead to a big fight with Tommy McCarthy.

“It looks like things are coming together now. I boxed well the last time in Belfast and in Scotland last week. We changed a few things with Phil [Sutcliffe, trainer] and I am feeling good,” Tims told Irish-Boxing.com.

The Dubliner outlined that it will be Swindon-Wexford big man Watkins, who fights this Saturday at the Oasis Leisure Centre, next. Tims confirmed that The Duke “is the priority now.”

“There was talk of [Stephen] Simmons, but he has an injury that meant he couldn’t take the British title fight. Watkins seems a good lad and anyone Paddy Fitzpatrick has time for and rates must be good.”

“It would be a good fight. I never lost the Irish title, I shouldn’t have been stripped. They say it was because of inactivity, but everyone was inactive at that time. I get stripped and then made number one contender for a belt I had?”

“I just heard the Watkins talk in passing, hopefully it can be done in May or June. You know me, I’d fight anyone. I will do my bit stay fit, healthy and focused and I will be ready for whoever they want me to fight.”

Tims believes that such a fight could signal the beginning of a busy period for the green belt. He added that “if it is Watkins, great, and if I win the title I think Tommy McCarthy and myself would be a great fight.”

“Tommy is a good lad and I like him. He is not a bad young fella at all plus out of all of us at the weight he is probably the best, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think I can beat him. Me and Tommy would be a great aul scrap.”

Reflecting on his victory over Palko, Tims claims he didn’t take any extra satisfaction from the knockout but admits he was content with his display.

“He was a good enough fighter. He was above average. He wasn’t a lad with 100 loses and no wins. He had 24 wins to his name, okay he had more losses, but it was a good fight for me.”

“I felt fitter and I was sitting on my punches a little more I had him down four times and the body shot was working. I am happy enough with it, but stopping him makes no difference. All I wanted was the win and I got it.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie