“Not only is it vital for me to go in there and get the win, I need to do it convincingly.”

Dumbarton welterweight Martin Harkin isn’t content to just pick up a simple points victory in his British title eliminator this Thursday, he is out to win in style.

The 27-year-old will take on unbeaten Englishman James Moorcroft at St Andrew’s Sporting Club later this week in a fight he describes as the biggest of his career.

Harkin, unbeaten himself with 12 wins, was in the ascendency in 2019 with four wins and two knockouts - including the incredible fourth round destruction of Ally Black for the Celtic welterweight title last May.

With that belt wrapped up, Harkin is now looking to continue his rise and take his career one step further with a shot at the British title and the prestigious Lonsdale belt.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” Harkin told Reporter Sport. “I can’t believe I’ve finally got the chance. This is the kind of fight and the kind of big night I’ve been working towards since I started boxing as an eight-year-old.

“Not only is it vital for me to go in there and get the win, I need to do it convincingly.

“I want to go in there and show that I’m one of the favourites for this British belt. If I win this one on Thursday then I’m in with a big chance of fighting for the title.

“With that in mind, this is definitely the biggest fight of my career so far. I won the Celtic title last year, but this is just a different level that can lead to some massive fights.”

Famed for their big name guests of honour, St Andrew’s Sporting Club’s shows are sometimes as much about a photo op with a celebrity or boxing superstar as they are about the fights on the bill.

READ MORE: Martin Harkin set for ring return after clinching BBBofC Celtic welterweight title

The club welcomes unified super-lightweight world champion Josh Taylor, IBF featherweight world champion and former British champion Kash Farooq this week, with Harkin delighted to get the chance to box in front of some of the biggest names in UK boxing.

Harkin added: “They’re all world class fighters. That’s the level I aspire to be at so I cannot wait to fight in front of them. It’s a bonus that they’ll be there to see me put on a show.

“Boxing in front of fighters at that level will only push me on to an even better performance.”

Looking to the man across the ring, Moorcroft is a tricky customer with 13 wins. 

The 26-year-old from Wigan has notched up five knockout wins, including four from his last four bouts, but Harkin isn’t worried about his style at all, and is instead relishing the chance to fight someone who will be willing to open up.

“James is a serious challenge, there’s no doubt about that,” Harkin said. “However, I believe in myself and I just think I’ll be too much for him. Looking at how I’ve performed over my last few fights, I’m certain I’ll get a convincing win.

“From the footage I’ve seen, he is more of a volume puncher - he doesn’t tend to take guys out with one big punch. He wears them down and overwhelms them with volume. That kind of style will suit me down a tee.

“Looking at his wins, he’s not really fought anyone of note. He’s barely fought a fighter with a winning record so I believe his own record is padded.

“I’ve fought people who are in there to win, whereas he’s fought mostly journeymen. I’ve also got a strong amateur background so I’m confident I’ll pick up the win.

“No one wants this more than me. I can’t wait to get in the ring and put on the performance I know I can.” 

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