Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins is a professional boxer who competes in the cruiserweight division also known as the 200lb division. His mission is to one day conquer that division. Luke is also an avid user of our Bear Grooming beard products so as you can imagine we jumped at the chance to have a little chat with him – discover what it is that got him into boxing as well as what he likes to use to keep looking fresh after a fight:
What got you started on boxing Luke?
“It was at the young prime age of 19. I’d always been a sportsman at a pretty decent level my entire life. I hit 18 and started working a weekend job in a bar, one thing led to another but I’d put 3 ½ stone on weighing in around 17st10 in 1 year and a ½. Being a keen sportsman and avid gym goer I was and with the help of one honest friend (Sam) telling me I had got fat, I decided to get back to training all the time.
Working in that bar, I ended up chatting with a man who said, “That’s puppy fat; boxing would be a good way to get rid of it”. The thought grew, I ended up in the boxing gym like a week or so later and the rest is history.”
We can see you tried your hand at a few sports when you were younger, such as ice hockey, what made you pick boxing over the rest?
I didn’t really pick boxing, it kind of chose me in the way I fell in to the sport. My love for it grew quicker than I was loosing the weight so it was a win win!
When did you know you could take this up professionally?
After I had sparred a few professionals and held my own, I knew what I wanted to do then I had to convince Paddy I was telling the truth about wanting to go pro. He’d heard many talented people come through his doors and say the same thing. But I proved him wrong.
Did you find fighting in Germany at the Sparkassen-Arena, Kiel, any different to fighting in the UK?
“YES!!!!!! It was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had in my life, I think the venue held 5 or 8 thousand. I was on as a filler fight right before the main event (Paul Smith Jr Vs Arthur Abraham). I walked in to a packed arena with just a few Brits who had no idea who I was cheering me on even though everyone else was silent!”
Your trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick is well known in the UK for up and coming British fighters tell us a bit about Paddy – what’s he like?
“Paddy is Paddy, what you see is what you get. A good honest man.”
You have sparred with big names such as Tony Bellew and Tyson Fury, tell us a bit about that. Were you able to pick up any tips from two well respected names in boxing?
“I sparred with Tyson so many years ago I am a completely different fighter now. But being in camp with him staying at his place was an amazing experience. I think the world is just starting to see Tyson for the great character he is behind the showbiz side of things. Tony on the other hand, gave great advice both on the business side of things and in the ring. From a selfish point of view I’m gutted he has just retired as I really wanted to gain as much experience from him as I could but his time is up in the ring, so I wish him all the best going forward in the next part of his life.”
Have you always sported a beard? Or is it a recent addition to Luke the Duke?
“I started my beard growth around April 2014, I had my head shaved completely bold for charity and thought the only way I can look half ok is with some facial hair. Then Paddy mad a bet with me saying, “ I bet you wont keep it for one year?” and now I’ve had one for almost 5 years!”
Ha you definitely won that bet then! What do you think to the Bear Grooming brand?
“In all honesty I genuinely love the brand. It is the perfect combo of keeping my beard looking decent by my standards. “
Have there been any noticeable differences to your beard or face after using the BG beard care products?
“Yes, before using BG products my beard felt tough and a little coarse. Now with regular use of BG products my beard’s ON FLEEK!”
Haha yesir! Any comments on the BG scent from the lady in your life?
“No, but I have been complemented on several different occasions by men and women liking the scent!”
Great stuff! Can you tell us what your favourite Bear Grooming product is?
“Beard balm, Beard Wash and the oil. All three serve a great purpose at different times. Wash and balm to maintain and the oil to wear out out! But if I had to choose one and only one, I’d say the balm. That way I’ll use a different shampoo for my beard and the balm leaves it looking fresh anyway!”
What do you have planned for 2019 for the boxing fans?
“I think over the last couple of years I’ve proven to be an entertaining fighter who will fight anyone, I will continue to do the same. I love the game I’m in and the fans are amazing. In 2019 we will obtain my 3rd professional title and keep progressing forward and up with some more KO’s to my record. (K.O-ing them of course). If you fancy following my journey, you can find me @thedukewatkins across all social media platforms!”