LUKE ‘The Duke’ Watkins says he is feeling good ahead of his cruiserweight showdown with Isaac Chamberlain this evening.

The former New College student returns to the ring 142 days after suffering the first defeat of his career, at the hands of Lawrence Okolie in June.

Chamberlain is also making his return to the squared circle, his last bout was a points defeat to Okolie in February.

London’s Copper Box Arena will host the two fighters, who are appearing on the undercard of John Ryder’s super-middleweight final eliminator contest with Andrey Sirotkin.

At the pre-fight weigh in, it was Chamberlain who came in slightly heavier as he measured 14 stone and 7lbs, while Watkins came in two pounds lighter than his Brixton opponent.

After a solid camp, the former Commonwealth champion told the Advertiser he is happy with his preparation and believes he is more than capable of withstanding what Chamberlain throws at him.

“I’m happy and I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring,” said Watkins.

“I love the whole aspect of boxing, I love the gym, I love the mental side of things, the buzz, the adrenaline and the media. I love every aspect of what I do.

“I read a lot of books that help me with the mental side of things, that doesn’t stem from boxing, that just stems from who I am, I like reading.

“I don’t identify myself as Luke the boxer, that is part of who I am, but that’s not all I am.

“For me, it was a little bit too long to be out of the ring, after the Okolie fight.

“But at the same time, I know we had agreed to the fight when we agreed to fight Lawrence, but we had to wait for Isaac to agree to it too.

“It’s all good if both sides are willing, but he didn’t agree to it straight away.

“He’s not a big hitter, he doesn’t knock people out. I always deal with the facts, even with Lawrence, I knew he was a puncher and I dealt with the facts in hand.

“Isaac is blessed with other attributes, not everyone is a puncher but I deal with the facts and the fact is, he is not a puncher.”

With that said, Watkins is looking forward to the match-up as he believes there are plenty of differences in style between him and his opponent that should make for an interesting bout.

“We aren’t similar, I’m a heavy handed fighter, similar to Lawrence,” he said.

“Height wise, we are more similar but no two fighters are the same and it’s like Pandora’s box when it comes to a boxer’s arsenal.

“Everyone is an individual and bring different attributes. Isaac has proved he has good character when it comes to a fight, he can bite down on his gumshield.

“He’s not going to let me walk over him and he has good hand speed, so that is something I’m sure he will try and use that to his advantage but as we all know, timing beats speed.”