Behind every successful boxer is a dexterous and dedicated trainer committed to finding success for their students.
Mark Thompson, Rick Godding, Mike Stafford and former EBU (European) middleweight champion Kerry Hope are all names in professional circles to benefit from Karl Ince’s expertise and you may have heard of the other - Shayne Singleton.
The pair struck up a working relationship around five years ago when Ince aided the transition from amateur fighter at Sandygate ABC to his fully licensed debut against Jason Thompson in August 2009.
From there, through the development of attack, defence and technique, the duo have gone on to hold the International Masters light welterweight belt and the prestigious English title courtesy of an epic victory over new British champion Curtis Woodhouse. Now a shot at the vacant WBC International Silver welterweight title awaits against one-time Spanish supremo Jose Del Rio at Colne Muni in two weeks time.
“It’s nice to train your own lads and bring them up to a certain level,” said Ince. “They work to a style that you want them to work to. You’re working hard on technique all the time and I’ve had Shayne for a while so he understands how I work and vice-versa. It makes it a good relationship that way.
“I think we have that sort of relationship where I’m like an uncle to him. We can talk to each other about anything. You need that bond. It helps you understand the weaknesses and the strengths so you can get the best out of them.”
Ince himself has vast experience when it comes to varying coaching techniques. He fought professionally, winning eight of his 13 contests, played rugby union for Preston Grasshoppers and trained in judo. Now that expansive knowledge, with a mixture of old-fashioned and modern methods, is rubbing off on 24-year-old Singleton.
“I understand different types of training techniques that can help tailor boxing and fitness,” he said. “It’s not all about hitting a bag and running every morning. The new way of training is completely different to what it was when I was fighting. I try and mix all that up to train boxers with a modern method.”
Ince added: “We’ve added hardcore, core fitness to our programme. It’ll help him work through the 12 rounds. These type of circuits can be like going to hell and back, but it’s all about the recovery as well. If we get that right on the night then it’s bang on for us.
“He’s got a feisty personality in training which means he wants it. He’s a fighter with ambition so I can work with that.
“We’re working hard and finding ways around fighting a southpaw. In our minds we know how to beat him. It’s a tough fight for him, it’s a step up, but I know Shayne can win it.”