IN the ongoing quest for motivation, choosing to model yourself on the man responsible for one of the most iconic sporting moments of the past decade isn’t a bad place to start.

Where many boxers like to keep their cropped short in an unfussy fashion, Stephen Newns has again reached for the peroxide in the hope of standing out from the crowd. After going blonde for Gold Coast four years ago, the Cleland boxer will step into the ring in Birmingham with a new silver hairdo inspired by the footballer, Sergio Aguero. If Newns can create even a fraction of the headlines the Argentine did when he dramatically won the league for Manchester City in 2012 then he will be doing well.

“The last time I went to the Commonwealth Games I got highlights and I was looking back at pictures from that one and folk were asking me if I was going to get my hair done again for this one,” he reveals. “Someone mentioned to me what Aguero has done so I thought why not give it a go. I’ve hopefully managed to get it pretty close to what he’s got! That looks like staying at least until my roots grow back in. I won’t be hard to spot when I’m on the telly if nothing else.”

Newns’ journey four years ago ended at the quarter-final stage but, older and wiser now, the 24 year-old wants to end these Games with a medal around his neck. Boxing Scotland coach Ricky Burns had previously intimated that he believes every member of the team is capable of a place on the podium and Newns sees no reason why not as he chases his own success story.

“My preparations have gone really well and I’m feeling strong,” he adds. “I’ve been living the life, eating properly and managing my body well. So confidence is pretty high.

“As a team we all have different things that we bring and we’ll all be looking to bring medals back to Scotland. We’ve shown in recent times that we’re capable of beating the best and I expect it will be the same again at these Games.

“I know that I’m capable of topping the podium in my own category. But it’s a knock-out format with the winner going through and the loser going home so I just need to take it fight by fight and not look too far ahead.

“At Gold Coast I lost in the quarter-finals so I was inches away from winning a medal four year ago. That was heart-breaking at the time but overall it was a positive experience with some strong performances. I was probably one of the youngest members of the team and quite new to senior boxing at that time.

“I’ve taken that experience and just built on it over the subsequent four years and I’ve noticed a massive improvement in my performances recently. I’ve always been one of the best physically but not technically but I’ve added that to my game and I’ll be hoping it leads to a medal this time. Having the Gold Coast experience behind me can only help too. It’s not all new to me this time.”

Like many at this level of sport, there have been different commitments for Newns to juggle. The 71kg boxer recently graduated from the University of West of Scotland with an honours degree in  Sport & Exercise Science while also working as a gym instructor for NL Leisure.

It has been a lot to cram in but the hope now is that all the sacrifices have been worthwhile, with all his family and friends ringside to cheer him on.

“I just recently graduated and I did find it pretty tough to balance studying with boxing,” he admits.  “It was pretty full-on for a while as I wasn’t getting any time off between uni, training and my job in the gym to help earn a bit of cash.

“But I got into a wee routine where my week was planned out and it was all really structured. And that made it a lot easier to get through everything.

“Now that’s out of the way and it’s only boxing that’s in my mind right now. And it’s all eyes on the Commonwealth Games and seeing how well I can do here.

“My family and friends are coming down and a few others are hoping to come and support me too. My dad’s from Salford originally and I’ve still got a lot of family from down there so I’m sure a few of them will make a lot of noise in the arena as well.”