Celtic welterweight champion Martin Harkin will make his return to the ring this week with a six-round tune up bout - his first fight since clinching the BBBofC crown four months ago.

The Dumbarton boxer won the title in emphatic fashion with a brutal fourth round knockout win over Ally Black back in May.

And with a bout scheduled for six rounds this Thursday at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, the 27-year-old is ready to get back to action.

With his Celtic crown not on the line, Thursday’s fight is little more than a chance for Harkin to remain active, with his first defence not scheduled until later this year.

He insists, however, that he will be giving the non-championship fight all of his attention and effort ahead of what could be a big end to the year.

READ MORE: Martin Harkin wins Celtic title with devastating knockout

Speaking to Reporter Sport, the champ said: “This is only a six-rounder and I’m not sure who the opponent will be yet, but I’m really looking forward to getting back in there. 

“I haven’t had a lot of notice for the fight but I’ve been training to keep myself sharp. It will be a sort of ‘keep busy’ fight to keep me ticking over before, all going well, I’ll be back in the ring before the end of the year to make the first defence of my Celtic title.”

Harkin’s last fight, and the manner in which he won with a stunning and perfectly-timed knockout, has, unsurprisingly, seen him gain some well-deserved exposure on social media.

And with his eye on some big Scottish shows at the tail end of the year, Harkin has promised there is much more explosive boxing to come.

“My style is all about pushing forward. People are paying a lot of money to come and watch my fights so I want to put on a good show,” he added. “My trainer encourages that and says that I need to make more big statements if I want to go further and get on the big shows. I’m not one to sit back and pick punches - I move forward and drag people into my kind of brawls.That’s what I like to watch as a boxing fan so it’s how I like to fight.”

The big show that Harkin is looking at is British champion Kash Farooq v Commonwealth champion Lee McGregor at the Emirates Arena in November - the biggest domestic fight in Scotland in decades.   

READ MORE: Celtic champ Harkin back in the gym just one week after clinching title

“The Farooq v McGregor fight at the Emirates in Glasgow was confirmed last week and will be a massive night for Scottish boxing,” Harkin said. “My manager has been able to get me a spot confirmed on that without any opponent as yet. I was advised not to take the six-round fight this week but I want to remain active, so I’ll be using this fight as part of the camp for the November fight basically. 

“I think I’m underrated as my fights have been on small shows. You don’t get many big fights up here but this one will be massive. This will be a chance to show what I can do on an undercard in front of a really big crowd.

“All that is well and good but I need to focus on the job in hand on Thursday. I won’t be looking past anyone as this is a tough sport and anyone can take one on the chin at any time. You need to be switched on with every fight as you just never know.”

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