Levi Kinsiona: Sheffield Hallam student ditches studies for chance of life-changing boxing prize pot
A Sheffield Hallam University student has temporarily ditched the books as he prepares to battle it out with other boxers for a £40,000 prize pot.
Levi Kinsiona, aged 25, who is a final-year sport development with coaching student, has been skipping lectures to train up to three times a day ahead of a super-lightweight eliminator contest at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool on Saturday.
The eight-man tournament, which will be shown live on Sky Sports, will see fighters do battle over 3 x 3-minute rounds with the overall winner decided on the night.
Parson Cross-based Kionsiona, a two-time national amateur champion, laughed off the idea of becoming the big name on campus should he win.
“At the beginning people knew I was a professional but they weren’t really bothered,” he told The Star at his training base in Jordanthorpe.
"Now they are seeing me on Sky Sports it’s sunk in that it’s real.”
Hard-working Levi is not your average student and juggles boxing and full-time education with work managing a security company.
He plans to make studying his number-one priority after this weekend while still pursuing his ambition to win a British title.
Any prize money will also be spent wisely, he insisted.
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Levi, who is one of 12 siblings, said: “My mum’s always been a hard worker, she worked two jobs trying to support all her kids. We hardly saw her.
"This opportunity is to get us out of that life and make something better of ourselves.”
While his more seasoned opponents will be counting on their experience in the ring, Levi believes his lack of it can help him.
He said: "They have all been professional a lot longer than me, they are used to the slow style. I’m fresh off a four-rounder and the amateur format.
“I see myself levels above these guys. They have had their time, it’s my time now.”
Popular Doncaster heavyweight Dave Allen is Levi’s manager and shares his fighter’s confidence.
“His style is unique,” said Allen. “He's got an Ingle style, he's a really good boxer. He punches harder than people think and what his record suggests and he's extremely confident.
“They are all tough fights but he's so sharp, clever and quick I don't think anyone will be able to keep up with him.”