Ahead of his Celtic welterweight title bout this Friday, Dumbarton boxer Martin Harkin has revealed he is more confident than he’s ever been and in the best shape of his career leading up to fight night.

The 27-year-old, who has seen tilts for the vacant BBBofC Celtic crown called off on no fewer than three occasions recently, will finally square up against Kirkintilloch boxer Ally Black for the vacant title at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Glasgow.

And while his run of bad luck with postponements means he has only been in competitive action twice since October, Harkin says the lack of activity in the ring has seen him step up his training out of it, insisting he’s in peak condition.

“This is the best preparation I’ve ever had to be honest,” he told Reporter Sport. “I’ve now had four back-to-back camps which means I’ve been training almost non-stop since October.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: Harkin looking to take his record to 10-0 this FridayHarkin looking to take his record to 10-0 this Friday

“I had a fight in January and performed well before a wee tune up in March but I’m more than ready to go and get the job done now.

“I’m desperate to get in there. It feels like such a long time between actual fights - I’m getting itchy knuckles. I’m just counting down the minutes till I get in the ring and put on a convincing performance. I’m happy I’ve finally got an opponent in front of me who’s stepped up and is ready to fight me.”

As part of his preparations, Harkin put a number of tough sparring sessions in the bank with a host of Britain’s top prospects.

The likes of WBO European super-lightweight champion Sam Maxwell and Northern Ireland’s former WBO Inter-continental super-lightweight challenger Tyrone McKenna have helped Harkin prepare for his own title fight with the Dumbarton welterweight admitting his performances in those sessions have only served to boost his confidence.

READ MORE: Martin Harkin finally set for that elusive Celtic title shot

He said: “I’ve sparred with some of the best fighters in the country leading up to this. No disrespect to Ally, but I’ve sparred with fighters I regard to be at a higher level than him and I’ve performed really well. The boys I’ve been sparring with are managed by Frank Warren and MTK Global so they’re the real deal.

“Performing well against those kind of fighters at that kind of level just gives me even more confidence going into the fight.

“I know every fighter says ‘this is the best camp I’ve ever had’, but this is genuinely the best I’ve ever felt in my career - amateurs included.”

With just two days until fight night now after months of hard work, a mixture of nerves and excitement would be expected, but nerves won’t come into it at all for Harkin who has been boxing since the tender age of eight.

He added: “There are only a couple of days left now but there are no nerves or anything there at all as it’s just another fight to me. I’ve been doing this since I was eight so I’m used to it now and used to the fight week feeling.

“The only difference for me is this fight is more exciting than my previous fights. I’m so grateful that I’ve got the chance for this title - it has been a long time coming.

“I’m just desperate to get going now. I actually wish it was tonight.”

But, ahead of stepping into the ring on Friday night, the former Scottish National amateur title holder admitted there is some lingering thoughts in the back of his mind regarding the recent call-offs, with Harkin revealing his management team have been regularly checking up with Black’s coaches.

“The last few fights for this belt have been called off last minute so there is a bit of fear there that it might happen again,” Harkin said. “I’m just praying Ally shows up and gets in the ring but you’re never sure until they’re standing across from you before the first bell.

“With Lewis Crocker, Tony Dixon, Stewart Burt and even Ally all calling-off fights at short notice, it has made me a bit more wary that it could happen again.

“My manager has actually been in contact with Ally’s coach on a regular basis to ensure everything is still going ok and double checking he’s good to go. I like to have that kind of reassurance. I’m confident he will turn up as you don’t get two chances at something like this that often. He’s pulled out before so most promoters would stay clear of him after that with tickets sold and venues booked so this is a golden opportunity for him.”

READ MORE: Frustrated Harkin sees Celtic title shot called off again

Away from worries out of the ring and the arrangements for the night, fight week presents an opportunity for Harkin to relax after months of hard work with the welterweight eager to conserve energy.

He added: “All the heavy training and hard sparring sessions are done now. The long nights in the gym are finished now so it’s just a case of tapering it all off and conserving my energy for the night now. It’s important not to over train and relax. All the hard work is done so I’m just waiting for fight night now.”

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