Sam ‘Sniper’ Smith will headline Fight Town 3 in November when he fights Germaine Brown for the Southern Area Title

PROMOTER Mark Neilson hopes Swindon-based boxer Sam ‘Sniper’ Smith can win the Southern Area super-middleweight title in front of a home crowd after confirming the fight will headline his next show in November.

Fight Town 2 – backed by Neilson Boxing and trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick’s Trifecta group – proved a success at the Oasis Leisure Centre last month, and plans have already started for event three in the series.

Smith, who trains at Fitzpatrick’s Ferndale Road Gym, was due to fight Anthony Fox for the Southern Area crown back on Neilson’s previous show, only for his opponent to pull out due to injury.

Germaine Brown has now been drafted in to face Smith for the belt at Fight Town 3 at the Oasis on November 30.

Neilson hopes to see Smith make the most of his chance, knowing it could put him in the window for further prizes down the line.

“It is great to have this fight as the main event on our next show,” said Neilson.

“We know there are a lot of titles around these days but the Southern Area title is a credible title and it is a stepping stone towards the English and British titles.

“If you win a Southern Area title, you move swiftly up the rankings and are in the mix for bigger things.

“Sam has been doing his business and waiting for his opportunity – and he has got that now.”

Another action-packed card is being planned for Fight Town 3, with home favourites Ryan Martin and Luke Watkins in line to feature.

Bec Connolly has already been confirmed for a high-profile contest and she will face Rachel Ball in an eliminator for the Commonwealth super-featherweight title.

As for Smith, Neilson is glad to see patience pay off for the super-middleweight, although the promoter expects Brown to provide stiff opposition with a belt on the line.

“Sam was devastated before our last show because he was fight-ready for Anthony Fox,” said Neilson.

“He ended up doing a six-rounder instead against a guy who had a losing record.

“It was difficult to get up for that, but in fairness, he had a job to do and he did it.

“We have been liaising with the British Boxing Board to try to find a similar about, and we have found Germaine Brown.

“He is 7-0, an unbeaten ex-amateur with a good pedigree

“We knew Anthony Fox would be a tough proposition and I think everyone will look at Germaine Brown and think Sam has his hands full again.

“He can bang a bit and is a dangerous proposition – he knocked his last two opponents out.

“But Sam is looking forward to it and hopefully he can bring the Southern Area title back to Swindon.”

Swindon boxing coach Paddy Fitzpatrick provides an update on star fighter Luke ‘Duke’ Watkins

PADDY Fitzpatrick expects star cruiserweight Luke ‘Duke’ Watkins’ opportunities to open up in the coming months, following Lawrence Okolie’s decision to vacate the British title.

Watkins has fought twice since losing his British Commonwealth Cruiser Title to Okolie in June of last year.

The 29-year-old Swindon talent lost to Isaac Chamberlain on points at the Copper Box Arena in October 2018 before he defeated Ossie Jervier on Mark Neilson’s Fight Town I card in April.

Okolie’s decision to vacate the British title – which he won in September 2018 when beating Matty Askin at London’s Wembley Stadium – has granted Watkins a chance to return to the big time.

It follows a period of frustration for Swindon’s big hitter, particularly after he lost out on an appearance at September’s Fight Town II card when Watkins’ unnamed opponent withdrew from the fight at the 11th hour.

A return to the ring is scheduled for Watkins on Neilson’s Fight Town III card, though, which takes place on November 30.

And Fitzpatrick expects his star fighter to kick on after his latest bout – and hasn’t ruled out the chance of a title fight in the short future.  He said: “Luke’s opportunities are about to open up now.

“When you have a guy that has the British and Commonwealth titles, every other fighter below is simply waiting for an opportunity.  If you’re not in the title holder’s plans, you’ve got to keep yourself busy or hold your breath.  The Commonwealth will become vacant soon too – before Christmas I would’ve thought.

I think a lot of movement will occur at cruiserweight level over the next couple of months and I expect Duke to be a part of that.  Two months ago, I told Duke his best plan is to be patient.

By March, he’ll be back contesting significant fights in Britain. Until then, we have to keep him busy.”

Fitzpatrick underlined his belief that Watkins is far from the type of fighter that will allow himself to be frustrated by events that are out of his control.

The Ferndale-road based coach said Watkins’ eyes are – for now – firmly focused on his reappearance to the ring on

November 30.

He added: “You see it all the time – opponents pulling out and a last-minute change having to take place.

“It’s gut-wrenching for Luke (Watkins), but what can you do. He can either allow himself to implode, or he can realise that this is what can happen and he’s just got to get on with it.

“He’ll headline on November 30.”