The pressure is on for Singleton

Peter McDonagh (left) and Shayne Singleton (right) went head to head in Manchester as tempers erupted
Peter McDonagh (left) and Shayne Singleton (right) went head to head in Manchester as tempers erupted

Shayne Singleton admits that the pressure is on ahead of his fight against Peter McDonagh at the Manchester Arena tomorrow.

The pair meet for a super welterweight contest on the undercard of Hughie Fury’s WBO World heavyweight title challenge versus champion Joseph Parker.

The 28-year-old, who hasn’t won since stopping Adil Anwar at the same venue more than 16 months ago, accepts that his 27th professional bout will have a significant say on his future in the new division.

“I think this will be the most pressure that I’ve been under,” conceded Singleton. “There’s a lot of pressure on this fight. I can’t be beaten by Peter McDonagh.

“I’m not saying that this is ‘make or break’ but it’s a very important fight for my career and where I move to. It may take a lot of time to rebuild if I lose this and it’s time that I might not have.

“There’s a lot of pressure on because it determines my future and whether I can get to the level that I want to be at.

“I want to be at British level. I want to mix it with the best in Britain. I’ve got a chance to move towards that at the Manchester Arena again. It’s a beautiful venue for boxing.”

Tempers flared as Hennessy Sports hosted the press conference at the Midland Hotel midweek with the duo clashing in a heated head-to-head.

Having traded insults from opposite ends of the top table, the fighters then had to be separated after getting up close and personal for photographs.

“It happened with Skeete at the weigh in,” said the one-time English super lightweight champion. “That got a little bit heated as well. The bouncers stepped in and just pulled McDonagh back.

“That’s not going to affect me in any way, shape or form. I’ve been there, done that, I’ve been in that position before and I’ve learnt from it.

“It affected me against Skeete and I lost my head. From experience I know that I’ve got to go in there and forget about it. I’ve got to keep my head and stick to the plan in this fight. I’ve got to control it.”

Singleton is adamant that he possesses too much quality for the 39-year-old journeyman to handle but revealed that he was quite surprised by the Irishman’s confidence levels.

McDonagh, whose recent revival has earned him the tag of the ‘Cinderella Man’, has been prepped by Peter Fury for what could be his final fight.

The Galway-born ‘Connemara Kid’ stated that defeat against Singleton would lead to his retirement from the sport.

Despite McDonagh triumphing in nine of his last 10 appearances, Singleton said: “I’m feeling good and I’m happy going in to this fight.

“He’s surprised me a little bit with just how confident he’s coming across. Maybe he’s just crazy. It would be wrong to underestimate him but this game is about levels and I’m a different class to him.”

Shayne would like to thank Ross’s Roofing, Uprite Scaffolding, Bounce Back Safety Surfaces, AJ Wood Ltd, Fitness Evolution, Salvador Health, Pendle Narrowboats, Night Fox Investigations and Wellocks for their ongoing support and sponsorship.