After a punishing career that has taken in 48 bouts from the undercards in the hotels and sports centres of central Scotland to headlining some of the country’s largest arenas, it all comes down to this for Ricky Burns.

One of Scotland’s most successful boxers of recent years, and just the third Briton to have won three world titles at different weights, the Coatbridge fighter will lay it all on the line against Anthony Crolla tomorrow night.

The 34-year-old will make the walk to the ring in the Manchester Arena for what he knows may potentially be the last time, certainly at this level, should he lose the bout.

For long-time manager Alex Morrison, it is simply that cut and dried. Burns was in Morrison’s gym when Sport Times caught up with him, putting the final touches to his preparations under the watchful eye of the 77-year-old.

Morrison was happy with what he was witnessing. And far from allowing the pressure of the situation to weigh him down, Morrison has backed his boy to thrive with such an incentive if he does manage to win.

“It’s a very big fight,” said Morrison. “If he loses this, to be honest, there’s not really a lot of places he can go. It’s make or break and he knows that himself.

“There’s pressure on Ricky. Crolla just keeps coming back, and he’s a bit younger than Ricky, so it might not be as final for him if he loses.

“But Ricky’s in great condition and is in a great frame of mind. He knows himself that if he wants to keep on boxing at a good level and make good money, that he can’t lose this fight. It’s that simple.

“He’s getting a lot of money for this fight, and the incentive is there for him if he wants to earn that sort of money again. He knows what he has to do, and that’s win the fight.”

A damaging and demoralising defeat to Julius Indongo at the SSE Hydro in April in front of an expectant home crowd had many writing the obituaries for Burns’s top-level career.

But Morrison believes it will be an entirely different Burns to that fight, and perhaps more familiar to those who have followed his career, who will enter the ring tomorrow night.

“This is a more straightforward fight for him, so I think we’ll see a different Ricky altogether,” he said. “He has to keep close to him and make it difficult. Crolla comes straight-forward, he just comes right through.

“You can’t underestimate him, and I think in the Indongo fight the camp underestimated him. Crolla is very good, and Ricky probably isn’t where he was a few years ago.

“But I think he’s got the temperament to handle going down there into Crolla’s backyard. I don’t think that will make it any more difficult.

“It might be easier for him actually, because he’s not got the pressure of an expectant crowd, and he doesn’t have people bugging him for tickets and all that side of it. It’s no use having to sell tickets and concentrate on your boxing at the same time.

“Ricky couldn’t fathom out Indongo’s style, and he fought the wrong fight, giving him too much room.

“He’s just got to box in this fight. He has to try to use the centre of the ring and keep Crolla on the ropes, and stop him coming forward all the time. If he sticks to his boxing, he’ll be ok.”

The straight-talking Morrison is a man whose opinions are respected in the fight game, and he hopes that if and when the time comes for him to tell Burns that his time is up, the 34-year-old will heed his advice.

For now though, that time has not yet arrived.

“Ricky has had a hard career,” said Morrison. “Almost 50 fights, with at least 10 of them being very, very hard fights, and that takes its toll.

“The danger for any boxer is staying in the game too long, and hopefully Ricky will listen to people close to him if we see the signs that he’s on the wane.”