By his own admission, Ryan Walsh has an itch he is desperate to scratch.

The man who dominated the British featherweight division for five years, is 37 years old, an age when most fighters have already hung up their gloves and retired.

Instead, Walsh is back in the ring next weekend – and has another British title, the lightweight version, in his sights.

If all goes to plan, then Sunday’s fight will be his last in Norwich – the path to such treasures will take him to bigger shows. As long as the British Boxing Board of Control do what Walsh thinks is the right thing, and let him have this last shot at glory.

The campaign will begin in the days following his next outing, as long as the script is followed.

In 33 fights, Walsh has lost four times - to a world-class Lee Selby, then highly controversially to Dennis Ceylan in Denmark before Jazza Dickens beat him for the WBO European featherweight title. His last outing was in March last year when beaten by a resurgent Maxi Hughes for the IBO world lightweight crown.

In the highly political world of boxing, it would have been no surprise to see any other boxer drift out of sight. Unless it’s Ryan Walsh.

So why buck the trend?

Eastern Daily Press: Liam Walsh with British and Commonwealth super-featherweight beltsLiam Walsh with British and Commonwealth super-featherweight belts (Image: PA Images)

“I’ve got one year to become British lightweight champion – and the plan is I win that and give it to my twin brother Liam,” he explains. “That is the only aim I have got - come back, win the British lightweight title, give it to Liam and that will do. I gave my featherweight title to (older brother) Michael. Liam has the super-featherweight title and I’d love to give him what should be his and only isn’t because he caught Covid before he was due to fight for it last March.

“And there’s just something left. There's just something in me. Imagine you've got a thorn in your side and you can't pull it out.

“I watched my last spar and I'm really happy because I haven't looked like that or felt like that or been like that probably since March this year, before I had my first ever surgery in 15 years of being a professional boxer.

“I ruptured a bicep in my arm, it was something you only ever see with weightlifters, not with a punch. I’ve thrown a million punches over 20-odd years. It was just a freak thing but it happened for a reason and it scuppered a fight in April - me and Graham were a week away from putting that into action, keeping that activity and probably by now we'd be talking more about a title fight.”

Eastern Daily Press: Ryan Walsh at work in the gym with trainers Graham Everett and Joe EverettRyan Walsh at work in the gym with trainers Graham Everett and Joe Everett (Image: Chris Lakey)

Which is where the BBBoC come in.

“Me and (trainer) Graham (Everett) will bombard the Board to do the right thing,” says Walsh. “I only have a year left, probably only three or four fights maximum. Tell me what I need to do, tell me the hurdles and hoops and I’ll jump through them.

“I'm sure that the Board are going to be fair with me. Before I lost my last fight, I was the mandatory for the British title. No disrespect to the British title, but I have only ever lost at a higher level.

“The British level is where I've always been comfortable. I never expected not to be a British champion. Whether that's egotistical or arrogant – but when Graham told us that as kids we all thought, well, yes, of course. And then when you become professional, the reality is it's a lot harder, it's a lot different, it's more business.”

Eastern Daily Press: Ryan Walsh after a sparring session with the unbeaten Louie O’Doherty Ryan Walsh after a sparring session with the unbeaten Louie O’Doherty (Image: Chris Lakey)

Michael and Liam are no longer active, so it’s fair to say Ryan is moving towards the end of an era for the north Norfolk family. Between them they have had 71 fights, won 64, lost five and drawn two – Michael (14-0-0), Liam (23-1-0) and Ryan (27-4-2)

“It’s true, it's the end of an era,” he says. “This is the last time you're going to see one of the Walshes, one of the three fighting Walsh brothers in a ring in Norwich, in my opinion, ever. This is it. This is closing the chapter in that.

“After this fight I can only expect to fight on someone’s away show. That's fine. I'd go abroad, I'd do anything, but the main thing is to come here, get the win, look good, entertain the people who've been following us all this time. Fighting the Sunday, which is different, which I'm excited about if my last spar is anything to go by, I'm really happy with the feelings I'm getting from that.

“But there is a tinge of sadness in the fact that you probably have to wait another decade now because we have got one of the boys who looks like he's really game, Lenny, Liam's oldest son, is looking like a possibility. But none of my boys seem that interested, and I don't really want them to do it.”

The Walshes have the belts to prove their success, but are far from being bauble chasers.

“No, it's not a big thing, we've done what we've done, but I do think we are owed one more British title," Walsh says. "There are three of us and we should have been three British champions. In the end we end up being two, but that British lightweight title belongs to my brother Liam Walsh – without Covid, he gets it.”

The first obstacle standing in Walsh’s way is Russian Rustem Fatkhullin, a very tough and experienced campaigner. Also on the bill at The Holiday Inn North are Great Yarmouth’s Mikie Webber-Kane and Thetford’s Roni Dean as well as ABA Elite champion Eryk Ciureji.