PADDY Fitzpatrick says that Luke Watkins cannot underestimate Robin Dupre when they clash for the vacant Commonwealth cruiserweight title next month.

Watkins and Londoner Dupre will clash at the York Hall on Saturday, October 7 with both possessing unblemished records.

However, while the former New College student has stopped seven of his 11 opponents – most recently a four-round knockout Ian Tims to claim the Irish title – Dupre’s only win inside the distance came three years ago when stopping Chris Nixon.

“Just because a man doesn’t have many stoppages on his record it doesn’t mean to say they are not tough,” the Ferndale Road-based trainer said.

“When George (Groves) fought Chris Rebrasse people expected him to blast through him because he hadn’t many stoppages – why would people think that?

“If someone doesn’t possess that knock out power you know that they are going to be tough because they are used to going the distance.”

For Watkins, the 27-year-old was already in camp to fight on a Trifecta show at the MECA on September 29 for the aim of facing Tommy McCarthy in a British title eliminator later in the year.

However, when this opportunity arose, Fitzpatrick said it was one they could not refuse as it could plot a quicker route to the Lonsdale strap.

“We are only having to make a few slight adjustments to Duke’s training as he was going to be headlining our show on September 29,” the Irishman said.

“But this is a fantastic opportunity for Duke, one we have worked so hard to get and it will give him fantastic exposure as it will be on television.

“We were in the process of going to purse bids to fight Tommy McCarthy in a British title eliminator, and I have to thank the (British Boxing) Board (of Control) for that.

“For now, Tommy McCarthy is no longer on our radar, he may come back on to it at a later date, but at the moment we are doing our own thing.

“Whoever wins the Commonwealth title could find themselves in a unification fight for the British title as the two often are fought for together.

“Matty Askin defends against Steve Simmonds the night before we fight, so we could have a unification in the new year.”