ROSS MURRAY gets teased as “the old man” in Sam Kynoch’s gym, but being older comes with an advantage. The Castlemilk boxer did not turn professional until he was 34 and, three years later, will step into the ring tonight to compete for the WBC silver light-flyweight title, having previously fought for European and Commonwealth belts.

Murray knows he doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for the optimum moment before agreeing to title fights. He is fortunate his day job as the managing director of a builders’ merchants means boxing is only a hobby and not his primary source of income, while a shallow flyweight division brings around opportunities relatively quickly.

His next fight at the Crowne Plaza hotel will be career-defining. Should he defeat John Chuwa, a 20 year-old from Tanzania, a crack at a full world title might not be far away. A third professional loss, however, and Murray might simply call it a day.

“I’m 37 now so I don’t have time to be building up 10 or 20 fights before flinging myself into a title fight,” he said. “I just want to get the biggest and best fights as soon as I can and squeeze it all in while I can still physically do it. Everything has been expedited because of my age but also because of the division I’m in. The pool is so shallow that after just five or six fights, the opportunities are there. So why not take them?

“This is one of the titles that puts you inside the top 10 or 15 with the WBC. I just want to get a stage so I can get a big fight before I bow out. I’ve no fear of losing as it’s not a career for me. It’s something I enjoy doing.

“This fight is everything I’ve asked for. I’ve been pestering Sam for a while about getting a fight at light-flyweight. At flyweight, by the time these boys rehydrate they’re just massive compared to me and that takes the skill level out of it. And then you’ve not got a chance.

“If this fight goes well, I could have another three or four on the back of it. If it doesn’t go well, it might be time to call it a day.

“I don’t have the time to be working myself back up to a level where I’ll get another fight like this. So this is pretty much win or bust. At my age I can’t go back to six-rounders in the leisure centres. I’m not motivated to do that. So I need to get this one and see where it takes me.”

Murray only turned to boxing after persistent knee problems saw him retire from amateur football and he didn’t have his first fight until he was 28. It was Peter Harrison, the veteran Scottish trainer, who persuaded him to turn professional and he has no regrets despite losing his first two attempts to win a major title.

“If you’re not going to take those sorts of fights then what’s the point in being in boxing? I’ve no regrets about the ones I’ve taken on and lost. I had a shot at the WBO European in London early in my career and I couldn’t knock that back.

“And then the Jay Harris fight was for a Commonwealth title so again you have to go for it. When you finally quit you want to know you took

those chances. There’s no point

finishing your career as 15-0 but having never fought anyone with a winning record.”