RACISM, envy and single-mindedness delivered Boris Crighton to boxing. The rest he has achieved himself.

A former British amateur champion who has recorded knock-outs in each of his four professional fights, Crighton returns to the ring this week on the undercard of Kash Farooq’s British title bout looking to advance his prospects in a sport he admits he has little interest in. Televised live on the BBC, were he at home rather than competing, the 26-year-old probably wouldn’t be tuning in.

He is an orthodox boxer, then, with an unconventional story. Moving from Cameroon to Aberdeen at the age of 12 after his mum married a Scot had, unsurprisingly, seismic repercussions. With few friends at first and a darker skin tone to most of his peers, racism was rife. Fighting to defend his name gave him a first taste of what was to follow.

“When I first moved to Aberdeen there was some minor bullying and a bit of racial backlash,” he admits. “So I found myself in more fights than I would have liked around the time.

“It was obviously a huge change in my life making that move to Scotland at a young age. It was a shock to the system at first. The hardest thing for me was being away from my natural environment, the things I was used to and grew up with.

“I didn’t have the same things to fall back on like close friends. Everything was brand new for me. And that eventually included boxing.”

The sport, though, was not in his genes. There were no boxers in the family and Crighton had little interest in being the first. Instead it was a friend who tried to cajole him along to the local gym to see what he could achieve. Deterred initially by travel and weather, it was only when that same friend started enjoying success that Crighton’s interest was piqued by jealousy.

“I didn’t start boxing until I was about 16,” he says. “Initially I wasn’t that keen. A friend tried to get me to go to the gym with him but it was snowing a lot and I had to take two buses to get there. So I just left it.

“But then a year down the line he was doing really well. And when you’re a competitive person and you see your best friend succeeding at something - winning a Scottish amateur title – then that stirs something inside you.

“I decided I would give it a shot to try to match what he had accomplished. I never came into boxing with any real plan apart from beating what my friend had done. That was my only target. And then I stuck around to see what else I could do. But I had no plans to become British champion or turning pro.”

Crighton’s natural sporting athleticism had taken him down different paths in his teenage years. A keen footballer and basketball player, the reliance on others in a team environment proved to be an immovable stumbling block. Boxing at least allowed him to control his own destiny.

“I was into a lot of different sports growing up. I was a good runner as a kid, decent basketball player and okay at football. Anything sports-based I was willing to give it a go.

“I still see myself as an athlete and boxing just happens to be my chosen sport. But I wasn’t much of a team player. I was too selfish a player in football or basketball and wouldn’t pass to my team-mates. But I wasn’t good enough to be that selfish.

“So boxing is a sport that matches my mindset. I can take full responsibility for what I do in the ring.”

A personal trainer to trade, Crighton harbours aspirations of eventually turning full-time in a sport that he admits he has little interest in beyond his own circle.

“I never grew up with anyone who was in to boxing so I was never a big fan. Even now I don’t watch boxing that much. I do the job I need to do but then I just get on with the rest of my life. I would have loved to have been the person who walks and talks boxing all the time but unfortunately that’s not me.

“Someone could ask me about other fights that have been on this week, or about opponents at my weight, and I wouldn’t have a clue.

“There are kids in the gym who know more about my opponents than I do. And that’s amazing. I wish I had that level of passion for the study of the game. I’m passionate about my craft but if it doesn’t benefit me I don’t care.”

The Craig Dickson-trained boxer's reputation already goes before him. Finding suitable super-middleweights willing to provide sparring partners and competitive opposition continues to prove challenging.

Journeyman Darryl Sharp will try to stop him on Saturday at the St Andrew’s Sporting Club as Crighton looks to add to his unbeaten record and move closer to a first title fight.

“It’s been tough getting fights made and there have been other contests that have fallen through. That’s the frustrating part.

“But four fights and four knock-outs – that’s not bad for my first year as a professional. And now we’ll look to make it five and build from there. I’ve put in too many years to boxing for this not to work out for me now.”