PADDY Fitzpatrick feels that the time has come for Luke Watkins to start showcasing his skills on television.

The 27-year-old became the new Irish cruiserweight champion on Saturday with a stunning fourth knockout victory over Ian Tims in Belfast, on the undercard of Ryan Burnett becoming the new IBF world bantamweight champion following a points’ win over Bristol’s Lee Haskins.

That fight was shown live on Sky Sports Facebook page and now the Ferndale Road trainer is hoping that Watkins will be given more opportunities to dazzle in front of the cameras.

“The time has come for Duke (Watkins) to be on television,” Fitzpatrick told the Advertiser. “He’s proven his worth on a big stage.

“The morning after the fight Duke was walking around the hotel (in Belfast) and people were wanting to have their picture with him and he was really enjoying that.

“Before we had even left the ring on Saturday, Eddie (Hearn) mentioned the possibility of (former Southern Area champion) Isaac Chamberlain on July 1.”

However, Fitzpatrick has said that Watkins is waiting to see a doctor after injuring the thumb on his right hand during the Tims fight.

“At the moment we are not sure what he (Watkins) has done,” the trainer said.

“It could be just inflamed, he may have twisted it, so I want him to see a doctor and get it checked out.

“Either way he is not going to punching for two weeks and July 1 is just three weeks away and I wouldn’t having sparring in that last week.

“We’ve no problem facing Isaac Chamberlain, I have said to Eddie let’s talk soon, but to face someone like Isaac Chamberlain you have to prepare properly.”

Despite Fitzpatrick picking faults with Watkins’ performance on Saturday, it is those chinks in the armour that could help get the former Bradon Forest and New College student on the small screen in the near future.

“I really liked how Duke boxed in the first round, it was beautiful, and how he finished the fight was spectacular,” the 47-year-old added.

“I wasn’t a fan of the second round, Duke allowed Ian Tims get on the inside of him and let his hands go.

“If I’m being brutally honest, seeing what Duke does in the gym every day, then I’d probably give him a six-and-a-half out of 10, maybe a seven.

“However, on Sunday I was talking to people in the hotel and they said that they really enjoyed the fight – it was viewer friendly.

“It was back and forth, so I suppose from that point of view it was a good fight.

“The viewers don’t want a one-sided dominated fight.

“But from a coach’s perspective I don’t want to be seeing rounds like that second one too often.”