Matty Clarkson will return to the ring better than ever according to trainer Johnney Roye.
The Preston light heavyweight fights for the first time in almost three-and-a-half years at Preston Guild Hall on Saturday night.
The 31-year-old came up short in bids for both the English and British titles in the first 17 fights of his career as he was involved in some crowd-pleasing contests.
After defeat to Bob Ajisafe back in November 2014 Clarkson elected to take time away from the sport due a neck injury but has never been far from Roye’s MTK Manchester gym at Oyston Mill on Strand Road with his cornerman believing his is more than ready to make his comeback.
“Even though Matty’s not been in the ring, he’s been very active and he’s still had an eye on boxing,” Roye said.
“He still came into the gym and we’ve always kept in contact.
“The injury he had was quite a serious one and we couldn’t find a way of recovering from that.
“Time didn’t seem to make any difference. He was off for three years and still had the same problem.
“He’s got himself a new physio who then diagnosed what the underlying problem was.
“Once we got that sorted, he then made the choice that he still had some unfinished business.
“He’s coming full on. He’s training absolutely brilliantly. I think he’s even better than he was before.
“He’s got that extra strength, experience and knowledge and it’s all showing.
“The way he’s come back into the gym and the level he’s got himself to is a testament to his attitude.”
With the ruptured nerve in his neck sorted, Clarkson will now look to pick up major honours on his return having won a legion of fans for his thrilling defeat to Travis Dickinson in 2014’s fight of the year.
“When he retired, he’d only acquired the Central Area title,” Roye said.
“He fought for the English and British but he’d only successfully won the Central Area.
“We want the English and British for him and then we’ll take it from there.
“He’s ready for these challenges now mentally and physically and I can’t wait to be on that journey with him.”
The English light-heavyweight title is on the line in the main event as Roye-trained Liam Conroy, from Barrow, comes up against Miles Shinkwin.
For Clarkson, it will simply be a case of getting back on the horse.
“He’s not going to have massive test,” said Roye.
“He is still going to have a test, it’s a fight at the end of the day.
“Defensively he’s looking better than he’s ever looked before and that increases his offence because it’s so hard to catch him now.”