It has been a roller coaster of emotions for Dumbarton boxer Martin Harkin recently after his bout for the vacant Celtic welterweight title was initially called off before an opponent was found at short notice.

The 27-year-old has seen THREE attempts at the Celtic belt postponed due to injured opponents and his bad luck looked to have continued when his scheduled challenger Stewart Burt broke a bone in his hand while sparring just four weeks before fight night.

Harkin has watched on as Lewis Crocker, Tony Dixon and Ally Black all pulled out at the last minute before going on to fight in ‘tune-up’ bouts to keep himself sharp for when the opportunity finally presented itself.

However, there was to be no journey man lying in wait this time with Harkin’s manager Iain Wilson of Saltire Boxing working hard to quickly sign up the aforementioned Black to keep his Celtic dream alive on May 31.

“I was so disheartened when I got the news that Burt had was injured,” Harkin told Reporter Sport.

"“The last few months with postponements has been a nightmare to be honest. It’s frustrating as there has been absolutely nothing I can do about it.

“I’m just so thankful that my manager has been able to line up another opponent at short notice.

"That was music to my ears when I heard that.

"He got injured when we were due to fight back in March but he’s stepped up for this one which means I’ll still have the chance to finally win that Celtic belt.

“The thing is, I’m 100 per cent confident in myself with whoever I need to face. I’m not fussed at all as long as I finally get my chance for the title.”

Biding his time waiting for that elusive Celtic shot since December, Harkin admits it has been tough to remain focused at times but insists he’s just been getting his head down in training to make sure he’s ready to take the chance when it finally comes.

Read more: Frustrated Martin Harkin sees Celtic title shot called-off again

He said: “It’s been a string of bad luck, but these things happen in boxing.

"It’s been important to keep my head down, continue to work hard and not let it get to me.

“It has been hard to remain focused despite everything that’s happened. It’s been so frustrating at times.

"I was putting in all the hours in training and boxing just seemed to be passing me by and not getting me anywhere.

"What I kept on telling myself is that I just need one chance and then things will start to come together.

"I believe that doors will begin to open up for me when I win this title.

"Winning this would hopefully see a lot of challenges coming my way.

“Rather than having opponents pull out at the last minute and being messed about, fighting as Celtic champion will see people line up to challenge me which I would love.

"There could also be a few opportunities to fight on some big undercards which would be great for me.

“My main priority is to stay busy in this game which hasn’t been possible recently with the postponements.

“It’s important for me to go in there on May 31 and make a statement with a convincing win.

"I’m ready to kick on, climb the ladder so to speak and fight for many more titles after this.”

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