Shayne Singleton warms up for first title defence with comfortable win

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His intonation suggested delight, but Shayne Singleton’s demeanor following his 15th professional triumph proved ascetic and disciplined.

The 23-year-old’s focus and drive to succeed as a boxer has almost become a religious pursuit; abstaining from indulgence to become the best he possibly can be.

While his ‘Barmy Army’ toasted his points victory over Brighton’s Kevin McCauley at De Vere Whites at the weekend, Singleton already had his next training session in mind as he prepares to defend his English light welterweight title against Tyrone Nurse at Bowler’s Arena in Manchester on September 20th.

“It’s straight back in the gym for me now,” he declared. “It’s a good record. When I turned pro I targeted five at first, then it became 10 and now I’ve got to 15. It’s all going well and hopefully I can make it to 20. The next fight is the big one - the defence of my title.

“I’m confident I can do it through my strength. The 14 fights I’ve had I’ve fought on the back foot for the majority. I’ll be doing a bit of both for my next fight. I’m capable of going forward as well and I want to prove that to people.

“Words can’t explain what it means to me but I will be keeping hold of it. It’ll be the British title next. Tyrone Nurse comes first then whoever after that. I want that Lonsdale belt after my defence.”

At the same hub of delirium, situated at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, where he claimed the International Masters title, Singleton seemed at ease and barely broke sweat in his six-round warm-up.

The English champion worked well behind his enduring and staunch left jab, frustrating his foe with his agility and precision. The first round ended with a flurry of punches and the same happened midway through the second as McCauley attempted to break Singleton’s admirable composure. It didn’t work.

In the third, a round which saw McCauley have a point docked, Singleton’s dominance intensified and he became a more dangerous proposition. Rather than working on the back foot, he became the aggressor and stepped on to McCauley while cleverly retaining a meticulous and methodical approach - refusing to waste shots or energy.

Several rapid combinations rocked his opponent throughout the round while spectators ringside were drenched in McCauley’s vapour as the local favourite asserted himself. As the 33-year-old fell to fatigue, Singleton switched his style and became unpredictable as he moved from head to body and vice-versa.

The final exchanges exploded in to a frenzy with both fighters swinging erratically in the corner, before referee John Latham raised Singleton’s arm aloft citing he’d taken every round.

“It was basically a fight to keep me busy ahead of my title defence,” Singleton said. “I just tried to enjoy myself and put things in to practice that I’d been learning for my next fight. I was relaxed and determined to work on things we’d been doing in the gym.

“He was a late substitute, I wanted somebody who was ranked who would give me a test, but he was a tough guy and he lasted the six rounds. I caught him with some good shots but I was at ease really. He took my shots and I let some go. He was never a threat to me and I was able to walk through his punches and get my own off.”

Singleton added: “Naturally he fights at light middleweight. I was able to push a man like that back who has faced some good prospects and big hitters that have failed to stop him. I know I wobbled him a few times and hurt him a few times so I’m happy.

“I usually throw a lot of shots to the head and don’t think much about the body but I know what a body shot feels like. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you get caught right in the body you’re going or it’ll wear you down throughout the rounds. I’m starting to switch it a bit now and mix things up.”