THERE is no special treatment afforded to Ricky Burns at the Boxing Scotland gym and you expect that’s just how he likes it. The photo call yesterday with the fighters who will represent their country at next month’s Commonwealth Games provided another example of his enduring humility as the former three-weight world champion slipped quietly onto the end of a row for the group picture.

That Burns, still an active fighter himself at the age of 39, is a man of substance has never been in doubt. He recalls his early amateur days when Rab Bannan, the legendary Coatbridge trainer who passed away two years ago, would drag his prodigy to shows on the off-chance that there would be a late withdrawal allowing Burns to compete.

Ricky Burns looks ahead to the Commonwealth Games as he backs Scotland's boxers to get gold

Even after turning professional at the age of 18, the man known as The Rickster still did it the hard way, working the small-hall circuit for years as he tried to build his reputation. The three world titles that were to follow later in his career seemed a long way off at that juncture.

Burns, typically, has no regrets about the hand boxing has dealt him. But as he surveys the Boxing Scotland surrounds - the ring from the 2014 Commonwealth Games forming the centrepiece - he believes the eight boxers who will compete in the 2022 edition will avoid a similarly tough slog if they can leave Birmingham with gold medals around their necks.

“All eight of the team going to the Games are capable of winning gold,” he said. “I really believe they’re good enough and I can say that having trained with them all.

“The preparations have been really thorough and you can see that all of them are fully committed to doing well. When I was younger we never had this kind of set-up like they have here at Boxing Scotland. I always say I did it the hard way.

Ricky Burns looks ahead to the Commonwealth Games as he backs Scotland's boxers to get gold

“Nobody knew me, I just signed up and then I was fighting on all the hotel shows. Whereas now if you can do well at the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games then you’re straight onto a major platform at the start of your professional career.

“The boxers that win medals always seem to get better deals when they turn professional and that can make a huge difference to any young boxer looking to make a career out of the game.

“Otherwise it can be really tough at the start when you’re an unknown trying to make a name for yourself at the start. With the team we’ve got, all eight are more than capable of winning medals and what they then decide to do after that is up to them.

Ricky Burns looks ahead to the Commonwealth Games as he backs Scotland's boxers to get gold

“Some of them will look to go to the Olympics in two years’ time too. And the more they can achieve as an amateur – especially in the high-profile events like this one – it gives them greater bargaining power for when they turn pro when they’re speaking to the top promoters to try to get the best deal possible.”

Burns has been involved with Boxing Scotland for the past 14 months now after Craig McEvoy, performance director and joint national coach, asked if he fancied lending his expertise to the next generation of Scottish talent.

“I always said that when I stopped boxing the coaching side was what I wanted to get into,” he added. “In my head that was going to be more getting my own gym and getting my own club started up. But then I spoke to Craig who asked if I wanted to come in and help with some of the coaching and I’ve been really enjoying it.

“I’m not going to lie. In the first couple of weeks it was a bit weird getting the boxers ready for sparring. It felt like it should have been me pulling on the head guard and gloves just after all the years of doing it! But I’ve grown into this side of things and I really enjoy it.

“All the coaches here bring different techniques and different methods. And every time I come into the gym I’m working with a couple of different boxers. So that means the team gets the benefit of learning from all of us, rather than just one or two.

“It’s really satisfying to show them something and then you watch their next sparring session and they’re trying it out. It shows they’re listening and learning.”

Burns admits the end is looming in his own boxing career but hopes there is still time for one final hurrah before he finally hangs up the gloves.

“I’m 39 now and my missus and the family are already asking how much longer I’m going to keep going for,” he grins. “When I agreed my deal with Probellum it was for three fights and the first one was in December.

“So hopefully I can get the next two in that are left on the deal although I said to them we’ll just take it one fight at a time. I’m hoping to get back out soon and then we’ll take it from there.”