HE’S got one foot on the ladder, and now unbeaten boxer Shayne Singleton is ready to start his ascent after landing a shot at the British Masters title.
The 22-year-old, who made an impressive professional debut against Jason Thompson three years ago on Wednesday, will see all his hard work and determination pay off when he squares up to Chris Truman at De Vere Whites Hotel in Bolton on Saturday, October 6th.
It’s been a long, arduous journey for the talented fighter but some things in life are worth fighting for, literally. Shayne, alongside experienced trainer Karl Ince, have invested copious amounts of energy, blood, sweat and tears in to the sport, and now the pair have their just rewards. In total it’s taken 35 amateur contests and 12 pro bouts to reach this stage but good things come to those who wait.
“The fight has been confirmed for October 6th,” beamed Shayne. “My coach Karl nearly had a heart attack when he was told, but he understands that this is what I need now. It was the right move taking the fight. He thinks I’m ready now so I’m over the moon.
“I wanted to scream. I couldn’t believe it. I got so worked up I gave myself a headache. Those 12 years of hard work, constant training, going through the same routine on a daily basis, has finally paid off. It’s like winning the lottery. This is what it’s all been building up to.”
His 27-year-old Birmingham-based opponent is hardly intimidating standing at just 5ft 5in, but his record isn’t to be scoffed at. Of his 12 bouts Truman has won eight and he recently survived the 10-round duration with Dave Ryan at Pride Park for the BBBofC Midlands Area light welterweight title.
“It’s my biggest fight and my greatest test by a million miles,” said Shayne. “Even though I’ve had 35 amateur fights and 12 pro fights it feels like this is the start, this is where it all begins. The fight has been signed and sealed and now I’ve got to make sure I’m ready and in perfect condition.”
He added: “I’ll be researching my opponent on the internet, watching footage of him in action. He’s only small so I know he’ll be a forward fighter who will want to get in my face. I fully expect him to be a pressure boxer, he’s got to be because with his height he won’t win by trying to box me.
“I will be sparring with pressure fighters to prepare. I’m going to master boxing on the back foot for this one. My preparation will be spot on. I’ll be stepping everything up now I know who my opponent is. He will want this title, but I will want it more.”
The title was vacated by Darren Hamilton earlier this year as he challenged Ashley Theophane’s BBBofC British light welterweight title at Aintree’s Equestrian Centre in May, and won. Now Shayne is ready to mimic that success.
“I look at him and think the same could happen to me,” Shayne claimed. “I believe I can mix it with English and British title level opponents. I’d definitely put myself up there with them now.
“Sometimes I’ve lacked a bit of self belief but sparring with the likes of Adil Anwar and Junior Witter, a former WBC, European, British, and Commonwealth light welterweight champion, and holding my own has rocketed my confidence and made me feel as though I can do well. Junior has gone right up the ladder and that’s what I want to do.”
There’s no doubt that victory would catapult his British ranking, and his career, and Shayne is intrigued as to what may lie on the horizon. “After everything I’ve done, everything I’ve worked for, if I win this title it will feel like mission accomplished, because it’s been a mission. I’m confident that I can take this guy, take the title, but I’m not complacent.”
Shayne added: “I believe this is my time to shine. If I win this then anything can happen. My name will be out there, lit up. It gives me a big chance to get some big fights against some good, tough opponents which is what I want. This opportunity has taken its time to come around, I’ve been patient and waited for the right moment, and now it’s arrived.”