MICHAEL Devine wants to set up a Luton and Watford derby by having a crack at Liam Shinkwin in his next fight.
The Luton lightweight dropped down a division to win the Southern Area Super Featherweight on Saturday and now has his sights set on the Lightweight crown won by Shinkwin, the prospect from Hertfordshire.
“I’d love to get in the ring with Liam,” Devine said. “I was shocked he beat Ryan Taylor but he looked good in the ring and fair play to him as I heard he is a nice lad.
“Hopefully my management team will sit down and sort something out. It could be a big derby fight. I won’t duck anybody and want to be known as a fighter who takes on the best.”
Devine, 23, had planned to be back in the ring again on April 5 but the shoulder he injured on Saturday at York Hall against Ryan Naylor will not have healed in time.
A bout on June 29 is more realistic, by which time his battered face and arms should have healed following ten punishing rounds with the southpaw from Gants Hill.
“I’m very sore,” Devine said. “He was a bit dirty with the head but that’s boxing.”
Naylor was pretty handy with a straight left in the first round, flooring Devine momentarily.
“I thought, ‘Here we go’,” Devine said. “He caught me cold but I got straight up. It woke me up, if anything, and I started to concentrate after that. I think had a few nerves in the first round and a lot of pressure as it was my first title fight.
“I’ve been down a few times before but I always get back up and win. There may be boxers with more ability than me but I have such a big heart and strong will to win.”
The former South Luton pupil got off the canvass in front of more than 150 fans from Luton to win the fight, 97-91, on points.
“I knew I had done enough,” Devine said. “I bossed rounds seven, eight and then put him down in the tenth. It wasn’t my best performance but I did OK considering the weight I had to lose.”
Devine shed a stone in seven weeks for the super featherweight bout, managing to hold down a job in the building trade while training for his first title fight.
“I was up at 4am for a run, then do a hard day’s graft on the sight and then back in the gym for two to three hours,” Devine said. “I’d like to be a full-time pro and training two or three time a day.”
Devine has the cushion of landing the biggest purse of his ten-fight career, and that is likely to come in handy as he is due to become a father for the second time in two weeks.