As manager of Scottish boxing hero Ricky Burns, Alex Morrison has lived through the many ups and downs of the Coatbridge fighter’s career, and has felt each blow that Burns has taken almost as keenly as the man himself.

Rarely has he felt such pain as he did two weeks ago though, as he watched the man who he has guided on his path through the sport from promising youngster to world champion at three different weights, be outclassed in front of his home crowd to Julius Indongo.

What pained Morrison all the more was the fact that his fighter never gave himself a chance in the fight, and Morrison has pointed the finger at Burns’s corner for getting his tactics spectacularly wrong on the night.

In fact, Morrison reckons that Burns fought like an amateur boxer as he fell to the sixth defeat of his career.

But he has backed the 34-year-old to put the pain of that experience behind him to bounce back and yet again show the courage that in his opinion, has made him one of Scottish boxing’s all-time greats.

“When I watched Ricky’s fight against Indongo I just felt that his tactics were all wrong,” Morrison said. “He was taking on a man who was taller than he was, and every boxer in the world will tell you that when you are in that position, you have to make yourself as small as possible.

“I haven’t really spoken to him properly yet, but I’d like to know what his corner were telling him because his approach was all wrong and he never gave himself a chance. He never went to his left hand and he never took the fight to him.

“I actually don’t think that Indongo is anything special, but Ricky’s tactics, whatever they were, played right into his hands and it was a real shame. He fought like an amateur.

“I’ve never seen Ricky fight like that. He got hit in the first round and you could see it on his face that he had been hurt, and he sort of went into survival mode.

“You never see Ricky doing that. He has a proud record of never getting knocked out, and I think that was playing on his mind rather than going out to actually win the fight from that point on.

“Ricky’s never-say-die mentality is his greatest asset, but it proved to be his undoing that night I felt because he didn’t want to be humiliated in front of his own crowd or let anybody down by getting knocked out.

“That meant he spent the night trying to avoid being hit rather than taking a risk and trying to win the fight, and it wasn’t great to watch as a result.

“Ricky never thinks he is going to lose, he has amazing self-belief and confidence when he steps into the ring. That night though was the first time I saw it in his eyes that he knew he wasn’t winning that fight, and it was over as early as the first round.”

Morrison hopes to help Burns regroup once the fighter has licked his wounds from his disappointing night at the Hydro, but whatever Burns decides to do, Morrison insists that his legacy in the sport is safe.

“Ricky is having a holiday but I’ll speak to him when he gets back and find out what his thoughts are,” he said.

“You can box on too long of course, and the last thing we would want is Ricky putting his health at risk. But it’s not like he’s ever really taken a real battering.

“Yes, he broke his jaw before, but he came back from that and I’d like to think he will come back from the disappointment of this no bother as well.

“I think he will still have that hunger, there is no doubt about it. It is his attitude and his resilience that sets him apart from other boxers.

“He’s only 34, and he is in fantastic condition. He’s always looked after himself really well and he’s always been really dedicated to his training and conditioning.

“Whatever happens from here on, Ricky has been a wonderful ambassador for Scottish boxing and a terrific role model for young Scottish fighters.

“I would put him right up there on a par with Jim Watt in the list of all-time Scottish greats, no doubt about it.

“It’s hard to predict where he will go next, but I think that Anthony Crolla could be a good fight for him to take on.

“Whatever he does though, Ricky will leave a terrific legacy in Scottish boxing when the time does come for him to hang up his gloves.”

When Burns does depart the boxing scene, there is no doubt that he will leave a void with his adoring public, who continue to pack out his fights.

But Morrison is confident that the next generation of superstars is bubbling away just under the surface, ready to assume the mantle as the great white hopes of the Scottish fight game.

“Scottish boxing is in pretty good shape if you ask me,” he said. “We have Lewis Paulin, who I think is going to be a real star, as well as Joe Ham and Charlie Flynn.

“If you take Joe as an example, the dedication that he puts into the sport and being the best he can be is unbelievable.

“Josh Taylor also looks like the real deal to me. I’ve been really impressed by him. The future is bright.”