PROMOTER Mark Neilson has promised to deliver a stellar night of action despite the loss of Swindon favourite Luke Watkins from his fight card on Saturday night.

Former Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Watkins was due to appear on the Neilson Boxing-promoted Fight Town 3 show in front of a home crowd at the Oasis Leisure Centre this weekend, only to pull out on Tuesday.

Plenty of mouth-watering bouts remain scheduled as Ryan Martin and Bec Connolly both face Commonwealth title eliminators.

Another of Swindon trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick’s charges, Sam Smith, has a belt on the line as he faces Germaine Brown for the Southern Area super-middleweight title.

Although Watkins’ absence is a blow, Neilson reckons his show will still pack a real punch.

“Luke wasn’t necessarily the main event on the card because we have got two eliminator bouts for Commonwealth titles and a Southern Area title fight. There are still loads of fights for people to look forward to,” said Neilson.

“There are three big fights and it is unusual to have that many. Because they are either eliminators or title fights, they are all proper 50-50 fights.

“Ryan Martin is in a Commonwealth title eliminator against a really good opponent with a good record. Mziwoxolo Ndwayana is the South Africa national champion.

“It is a proper tough fight but if he comes through it, it really throws Ryan up there in the mix.

“Sam Smith against Germaine Brown for the Southern Area will be a really good fight. I have heard lots of good stories about Germaine.

“And Bec Connolly is up against a tough girl in Rachel Ball in another Commonwealth title eliminator.

“Any one of them could be the main event and on a smaller show, they would have been, but we have managed to get all three on one.”

Watkins’ withdrawal from Saturday’s show comes after the Swindon fighter was pitched in an eliminator for the British cruiserweight title against Mikael Lawal in January.

With such a crucial contest on the horizon, Neilson is well aware that higher priorities are ahead for Watkins.

“Luke has got an eliminator for the British title six weeks away, so his decision is completely understandable,” said Neilson.

“He can’t take any risks and he doesn’t want any banana skins as it is a really big fight for him in January.

“On our show, Luke was going to be getting himself ready for a big fight but that fight has come sooner than expected.

“The date is in the diary, so he has got to prepare for that.”