BOLTON boxer Haroon Khan is itching to get back into the ring on Friday night.
The younger brother of former unified world champion Amir, Haroon has not fought since beating Bulgarian Stefan Slavchev on points in Blackpool in November.
He had been due to fit in one more bout in before Christmas, but a scheduled Wigan clash had to be called off when his Spanish opponent was injured in a car crash.
Now, almost two months on, the 22-year-old super flyweight is raring to go against Middlesbrough’s Francis Croes in Sheffield.
Khan exclusively told The Bolton News: “I am looking forward to getting back in there.
“It was so frustrating when the Wigan fight was called off because I was primed and ready.
“But last-minute pullouts can happen.
“I then had a break and travelled to Pakistan with Amir as he set up his foundation out there looking to open boxing academies and that was really good to be involved in.
“But since I have been back, it has been back to business in the gym and getting ready for this fight, sticking to my training plans and learning new stuff all the time.”
The clash at the IceSheffield arena will be Khan’s fourth professional bout having won every round in the previous three victories.
His 25-year-old opponent has only registered one triumph in 22 pro fights but Khan believes he will still provide a stern test.
The 2010 Commonwealth bronze medalist added: “Francis Croes has a lot of experience despite not too many wins.
“He had a good amateur record and has fought people who have gone on to fight for British titles. I will not be taking it lightly but I am confident I can keep up my winning record.”
Khan hopes it will be the start of a regular run of fights as he aims towards a British title shot of his own.
And he believes he is improving all the time thanks to the help of trainer Oliver Harrison and the other boxers at the gym.
He said: “Training has been going really well.
“It is good to have Oliver’s experience and I am also learning things by watching the other fighters.
“The likes of Rocky Fielding and Martin Murray are there as well; just watching someone like Martin shadow boxing can teach you a lot.
“I’m ready for this fight and can’t wait.
“It is back in Sheffield where I had my debut and the crowd were great that night – hopefully, they will be again.”