SWINDON boxer Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins is one step closer to a cruiserweight showdown with Lawrence Okolie after promoter Eddie Hearn gave the bout the green light.

The contest has been repeatedly touted over social media over the last few months, with Watkins and his trainer, Paddy Fitzpatrick, as well as Okolie all making clear their preference for the scrap.

Okolie’s promoter Hearn was the only man left to have his say and the Matchroom supremo revealed on Tuesday night that he has been in touch with Fitzpatrick to finalise a deal.

The bout has been pencilled in for Wednesday, June 6 as the main event at London’s York Hall, where it will be broadcast on Sky Sports.

Ferndale Road-based trainer Fitzpatrick, who has worked with Watkins since he first laced up his gloves, admitted prior to confirmation last night that a deal is ‘close’.

“We are very close. If he (Hearn) ‘okay’s’ the last thing that I sent over to him then we will have a deal,” said Fitzpatrick.

“It’s good news for Luke because it is a fight that he is very excited about.

“Lawrence is very excited about it and so are the public.

“I’m excited that Luke is going to get the opportunity at the right time on the biggest stage.”

Okolie, who is managed by world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, has had eight fights since turning professional and is undefeated so far.

Watkins, who is also unbeaten, has a record of 13-0 with nine victories coming via knockout, says he is looking forward to testing himself when he steps in the ring this summer.

“It is a good fight for both of us,” said Watkins, who also thanked his sponsors for their support. “When I beat him, it will raise my profile and if he beats me it’s good for him because he wins the Commonwealth title and propels his career.

“Me and Lawrence do nothing but exchange kind pleasantries.

“I feel like he is a man about his business in the same way that I am a man about mine.

“Getting these fights and opportunities are all about testing yourself and seeing how good you are.

“Okolie is an Olympian and Great Britain boxer, I’m just a lad from out here in the sticks.

“I’ll show them what I am made of and what people from Swindon are made of.

“I’m sat in a good place at the moment.

“I have so many options and that is what it is all about for me, getting into these positions.

“I also wanted to say thank you to my sponsors, they all help me in their own way.

“Without them or Paddy the journey I have been on could have been a lot harder.”