TRAINER Paddy Fitzpatrick has warned Luke Watkins’s next opponent that the Swindon cruiserweight is in the shape of his life at the moment.

Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins was due to be back in the ring on Saturday night, heading the bill for Trifecta’s ‘No Retreat No Surrender show’ at MECA.

However, weather conditions meant that card couldn’t take place, leaving Watkins in limbo for his next bout.

The Commonwealth champion had set his sights on a unification fight with British champion Matty Askin once he got through Saturday’s clash.

With that not going through, Fitzpatrick said he is not concerned if Watkins faced either Askin or Olympic gold medallist Lawrence Okolie without a fight in between.

Askin is in action on Saturday, March 17 against Stephen Symonds at York Hall and both Watkins and Okolie will be in attendance.

“Duke has been sparring with three world champions in two months of training camps, so he is sharp technically, physically and mentally,” he said.

“He’s as sharp as he has ever been and he’s getting better with every fight. Everything that he’s been doing, has been ramped up.

“We want to fight Askin. There is also talk of Okolie. Askin is the one we would really like, because he has the British title and we want to unify.

“The reason you want these fights is because you want the fans to know about you. That is what we are in this game for.

“Even though Matty Askin is the fight Duke wants, any fight which will tick another box and raise his profile is important.

“Okolie is appealing as well. They are both as dangerous as each other, they’re both worth fighting.

“Duke genuinely doesn’t care who he fights.

“You choose your best option, you don’t choose because you don’t want to face a man.

“He is at championship level, so we have people who want to fight him because he has the title. He’s ready for those men.”

The Ferndale Road trainer also revealed he has managed to rearrange Sam Smith’s fight with Kirk Garvey for this Saturday.

After having four fights cancelled in the last 12 months, Fitzpatrick said it was important to get the light heavyweight out as soon as possible.

“I have rescheduled Sam’s fight. He’s fighting at the Camden Centre near King’s Cross on Saturday against Kirk Garvey,” he added.

“It’s very positive. He was the main thing and we had to get something done, he does 180 miles a day to train.

“Thank God we got something done. Now I’ll start having conversations about Duke, so we will see where that leads to, then I have to find homes for the rest of them.”