LENNOX Clarke returns to action this weekend determined to climb up the charts after a frustrating period out of the ring.

Eight months on the sidelines will have passed when the still-reigning IBO Continental super middleweight champion next steps through the ropes.

The former unlicensed fighter appeared to be going places, after picking up the IBO belt last December, and now fights a year on at Walsall Football Club this Saturday night.

The unbeaten 27-year-old laces on the gloves for the 19th time as a pro, with one draw the nearest thing to a blemish. Of his 18 wins, there have been five first round wipe outs.

He’s a part of the Christmas dinner show in the Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium, staged by BCB Promotions.

Clarke, from Halesowen, has been absent through illness, but is now fully fit and determined to pick up where he left off. After tackling the next task in hand, he’s targeting more titles.

A long-standing target is English champion Darryl Williams, with the two on a collision course for the last 18 months.

Williams has had a crack at the British crown, but was outpointed by Clarke’s BCB stable-mate Zach Parker last month.

Former Commonwealth boss David Brophy has also been mentioned, as has Tommy Langford after his move up to 168lbs.

Langford held the British title in the middleweight division and lost two memorable battles with Jason Welborn, who went on to challenge for world honours.

Clarke has his heart set on making waves with a big showdown, something akin to the victory over the experienced Jahmaine Smyle for the IBO strap.

He said: “It's been a bad year for me. Obviously, my health comes first and I'm just glad to be fit and well again. Now I can concentrate on my boxing.

"I thought I'd got the ball rolling, it was a good win for me against Jahmaine and it seemed I'd be moving on quickly. It hasn't happened, but it still can.

"It's good to get one in before the end of the year, I still feel sharp so I'm confident you'll get a decent performance from me. I'm not just looking to warm myself up.

"I'll be ticking over into the new year and, as soon as possible, I want to get right back into the mix. I'm still in the top 10 and there's two or three names we've talked about.

"It's great that the British title is in our camp now, Zach is a friend and I think he'll be looking to move on to bigger and better things. When he does that, I'll be going after that belt.

"Other things could happen. I just want everyone to know that I'm ready and I'm looking to come back with a bang. After this one, I'm taking on all comers."

Tickets are on sale now, priced at £35 standard and £65 ringside, the latter option to include a Christmas buffet. It will be £40 entry on the door on the night.

For more information, call the Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414.