LUKE Watkins could put himself on the verge of a British title shot in his next fight.

The unbeaten Irish cruiserweight champion will headline Trifecta’s next show on Friday, September 29 at the MECA.

Watkins’ trainer and manager Paddy Fitzpatrick is hopeful that they make the contest a final eliminator for Matty Askin’s British crown.

Joining Watkins on the bill will be stable-mates Ryan Martin, who will be fighting for the first time since his WBC Youth title points loss to Michael McKinson, and unbeaten light-heavyweight Sam Smith.

Fitzpatrick will also have David Bailey and Harry Webb on the bill along with Bradley Townsend, who will be making his debut in the welterweight division.

Bec Connolly and Bronwyn Duff will make their professional debuts in the featherweight and super-flyweight divisions respectively as the female fighters in Swindon jump from one – Kelly Morgan – to three.

“We have been talking to the (British Boxing) Board (of Control) about trying to make Duke’s next fight a final eliminator,” Fitzpatrick said. “

He is one of the highest ranked contenders out there and the board recognise that.

“We have been talking to (Belfast’s) Tommy McCarthy people about the possibility of the fight, but that is proving difficult.

“It is very unlikely that it will be for the Irish title as the BUI (Boxing Union of Ireland) have recently changed the way they issue licences.

“Duke has got both at the moment, but if he wanted to defend his Irish title, which he is proud to have, then he would have to give up his British licence.”

With Watkins closing in on the Lonsdale belt, Fitzpatrick says that there will be no easy comeback for Martin, who had his July 8 fight at the York Hall cancelled due to a stomach virus.

“Ryan will be in a real fight – he doesn’t need a ‘comeback’ fight,” the Ferndale Road-based trainer said.

“There is just over nine weeks until the show, so it is too early to say who he will be fighting.”

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