GARY Sweeney is set to end a five-year absence from boxing when he steps through the ropes this weekend.

The Bicester heavyweight last fought more than 1,600 days ago but will look to preserve a faultless record as a professional, having won his four fights within the distance.

The 31-year-old returns to action at Swindon’s MECA this Saturday on Neilson Boxing’s latest Fight Town event, with fellow Oxfordshire boxer Bradley Townsend also set to feature.

Sweeney lost motivation during his time away from the sport, after a series of injuries stopped him competing.

But with his comeback just days away, the Irish prospect is not concerned about ring rust when he heads to Swindon.

“If I’m honest I’ve done nothing in the last five years, due to injuries and I just haven’t been concentrating on boxing,” he said.

“I should have been in the gym a long time ago, but once you have one injury you can lose interest in the sport.

“In that five years I weighed up to 135kg (21 stone) and to lose that alone is a battle, if it wasn’t for my wife and my dad I wouldn’t have gone back into boxing.

“My training for this fight has been very good – I feel like a kid at Christmas, I can’t wait. It feels like I’m starting over again.

“I’m not worried about ring rust, I’ve been sparring good and sparring is like a fight, I’m just going to go there and do the job.”

Meanwhile, Townsend is hoping to secure his tenth victory as a professional after marking his own comeback with a win.

The Witney fighter’s last outing, where he went the distance with Evengii Vazem, was his first bout in over two years and saw him go 9-0.

Townsend has campaigned at welterweight since his debut in 2017, but he will now be boxing at super-lightweight following a conversation with coach Rob Lloyd-Taylor.

The 27-year-old is pencilled in for six rounds against Lee Hallet and he is looking forward to the new experience of making weight and seeing how he feels at 140lbs.

“For my last fight I made welterweight quite easily and Rob said if I was making it that easy then I should be able to make super-lightweight,” he said.

“I think I will be big and strong at that weight and it will suit me.

“Moving to super-lightweight has always been in the back of my mind. A lot of boxer dehydrate to make weight and I’ve never had to do that.

“Rob is more seasoned and he was a professional so hearing him say that has made me confident I can do it.

“I’ve got to be a bit more conscious with my food, it will be beneficial but it’s all a new experience for me.”

Oxfordshire’s Ciaran Flanagan was finally due to make his pro debut on Saturday, but he will no longer fight.

The 24-year-old has been denied a maiden bout by a recurring hand problem since registering as a professional aged 18.

He was set to make his debut earlier this year, only for the British Boxing Board of Control to curtail his plans after reviewing his scans.