Kieron Conway is the Northampton fighter with socks appeal.
The line up for Ultimate Boxxer III at London’s O2 Indigo on Friday night features punching preacher Derrick Osaze and Olly Murs could be at ringside to cheer on Kaan Hawes, but the most colourful fighter on show will be Conway.
“There are a lot of good boxers out there trying to get noticed, trying to find a way to stand out,” said the 23-year-old.
“The last time I boxed in Northampton, I wore pink knee length socks and when I went into town the next day, people stopped me and said: ‘I saw you box last night, you’re the one who wears pink socks.’
“From that day on, I decided to stick with it.
“I’ve decided it’s a good way to get people to remember me and since then, I’ve had black socks with pink polka dots and claret socks.”
The claret socks are a nod to Conway’s local football team, Northampton Town.
The Cobblers have had an up-and-down season in Sky Bet League Two and Conway says he runs up and down the hills outside the club’s ground as part of his training.
Conway says he’s determined to make history in Northampton by becoming the town’s first British champion.
He’s coached by his father, James, and if he had his way, Kieron, the eldest of six, would now be an ex-boxer.
Kieron said: “I used to come home from the gym every night crying when I was 12 years old and dad would say: ‘I’m not sure this is for you. Why don’t you pack up ?’ But I wanted to be as good as the people who were beating me up in sparring.”
Conway says he gets more motivation from his former school teachers.
“I wasn’t that good at school,” he remembered. “And when I was 15, the teachers asked me what I wanted to do. I said I was going to be a professional boxer.
“I was tall and skinny at the time and they laughed at me, but I told them that was what I was going to do.”
Conway says it was around then that he started dedicating himself to boxing and he went on to win 69 of 84 amateur bouts with Kings Heath ABC.
As a senior, his only loss in 19 bouts came against fellow Northampton boxer Carl Fail, who is now Great Britain amateur boxing’s No.1.
Conway believes his experience over the three-round distance gives him a huge advantage over his rivals in Ultimate Boxxer.
“They are all saying they are going to really go for it,” he said, “and that suits me down to the ground.
“In this competition, my skills are second to none.”