MIDDLEWEIGHT Martin Murray will not be making any hasty decisions after a suffering a surprise points defeat against former world champion Hassan N’Dam.

In a close fight the judges ruled the contest 114-114, 117-112, 116-112 in favour of N’Dam meaning Murray loses his WBC Silver Middleweight belt in what was an eliminator towards a world title challenge.

The Fingerpost fighter had said in the build-up to the bout in Manchester that he was “one defeat away from retirement” given how long it had taken to get back into the mix after his previous loss.

However, the morning after losing to the Frenchman he posted a message on his Instagram account expressing his disappointment but saying no decision has been made on his future.

He said: “I’m obviously gutted, I thought I won the fight.

“I thought I pressed it, and although I knew it was close, I didn’t think he had won it.

“I have been thinking about it ­— if I can’t get a bit of luck against a foreign fighter in my home country then it just about sums up the luck I have had this year, and the luck I have had in my career in general.

“I am gutted, but it is what it is.”

Murray’s previous defeat was in 2016 against George Groves at super middleweight and it took him two-and-a-half years to claw his way back into the ranks of the contenders again.

He had looked well-place to have a fifth shot at a world crown in 2019, but this defeat scuppers those plans.

He will take time away with his family to contemplate whether his future is in the ring or away from it.

“The most important thing is I have got a lovely family, beautiful wife and three gorgeous kids who are healthy.

"They are happy and so am I .

“Feelings are a bit raw but I am not going to make any hasty decisions,” he said.

That is a big call - Murray had set out to win and look good in order to get a world title shot in 2019, but did neither.

And at his age it would need something extra special to go through all that slog again.

The defeat capped a miserable year for the 36-year-old fighter, who twice saw bouts against Billy Joe Saunders pulled after going into camp to prepare.

Former WBA and WBO regular world champion N’Dam was in his first fight since losing his title to Ryota Murata in October 2017.

He came to Manchester in determined mood to get another shot at the big time - and that is now likely to happen.

The Frenchman started off with purpose and dominated the opening rounds.

Murray, on the other hand, was slow to get going even if he did manage to put N’Dam onto the canvas in round four.

He did find the challenger a slippery, elusive customer to deal with, describing it as “like fighting a fish”.

N’Dam also connected with some uppercuts, which will have caught the judges eye.

Although Murray picked it up from the middle rounds, throwing more and hitting N’Dam with a barrage of body shots, the contender managed to hold on.

Murray still felt he had done enough and expressed his surprise when it went the other way.

But that is the way Murray’s year has gone.

He has now flown out to Vietnam to meet up with his wife and family, who had departed earlier in the week for a cruise around Asia.

His family will be a big factor in what Murray’s next move is.