Watkins primed for ABA Novice final

Swindon Advertiser: Luke Watkins Luke Watkins

SWINDON’S Luke Watkins will today go on a military mission to compete in the national final of the ABA Novice competition.

The super heavyweight, from the Fitzpatrick's gym, travels to RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire for his title decider this afternoon.

The 24-year-old will be crowned a full national champion in just his 12th amateur contest competing at 91kg and over in Class A, for boxers who had 10 fights or under before the competition began.

He has been paired with Przemyslaw Pozniak, from Newark ABC in Nottinghamshire, who has a shorter journey to the venue and comes in fresh after a bye in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, Watkins had to fight tooth-and-nail to impressively see off Lloyd Ransom, from Rugeley Police ABC in Staffordshire, by a unanimous points decision at Birmingham’s Great Barr Leisure Centre.

But the Wiltshire fighter won’t be measuring himself against his opponent, saying: “I don’t care who he is, where he comes from and what he has done.

“You can dwell on things like that and the worst place you can be, sometimes, is in your own imagination. I don’t want any added pressure.

“You take what you get in the amateur game, it’s not like if we were professionals. You can’t do that much homework on your opponent.

“I am a come forward fighter who is more of a boxer than an aggressor, although I can fight when I need to. That’s what he will need to combat.”

Watkins has already served as a sparring partner for George Groves, two-time Prizefighter winner Michael Sprott and Tyson Fury, which helps to support him financially as a full-time boxer.

National champion status could present further opportunities, although he insists he’s in no rush to turn over to the paid ranks.

”This could open up more doors for me but being an amateur is an apprenticeship, which I haven’t finished learning as yet,” said Watkins.

“I am happy to fight unpaid and spar for money with the professionals. I have already been in with a few and have enjoyed it.

“I am there to be a punchbag, though, and there’s point in going out if I am not learning. For instance, I would love to speak to Anthony Joshua.

“To share a ring with an Olympic gold medallist would be a real learning experience.”

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