Superb Singleton lands fifth title on his ring return

Shayne Singleton in action on Saturday night. Picture: Karen Priestley
Shayne Singleton in action on Saturday night. Picture: Karen Priestley
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Ladies and gentlemen - Shayne Singleton is back!

In an almost punch-perfect performance, the Pendle pugilist pulverised Gary Cooper at Winter Gardens in Blackpool to land the British Classic Challenge super-welterweight strap.

I’m going to carry on training through Christmas because there’s a chance of a big fight at the end of February

Shayne Singleton

That scintillating success, courtesy of an eighth-round stoppage in the entertainment capital of Lancashire, brought the fifth title of Singleton’s tenure with three of those coming in different divisions.

The 26-year-old portrayed the qualities that out-witted Curtis Woodhouse in their English title showdown in 2013 and the attributes that negated Sam Eggington’s strengths in the first stanza of their WBC International Silver encounter in March.

His footwork and movement on the back foot was alluring, his combinations sharp and incisive, the execution was both skilful and powerful while the display as a whole was dominant and disciplined.

Sticking to the perimeter of the ring, Singleton was towering on his toes against Sonny Upton’s conqueror who tipped the scales above the 154lb threshold.

Cooper survived an unrelenting onslaught in the fourth round, but the Welshman fell at the final furlong when caught with a barrage of left hooks along with a thumping right hand for good measure.

“I’m very happy,” said Singleton. “I knew he’d come forward and try and get in my face which worked a treat with how I wanted to fight and how I want to get back to fighting - boxing on the back foot and moving.

“It was very important. I was happy with the win and I’ve had some very good comments about the performance. I’ve been told it was the best performance of my career.

“Granted the opponent wasn’t at the level that I’m at but he was a lot bigger and he’s knocked out Sonny Upton who is a top lad who fights for Ricky Hatton. I knew he’d be dangerous.”

He added: “The gameplan was to box and move, utilise my footwork, roll off and Karl (Ince) told me that I did everything he wanted me to do.

“I didn’t feel like I’d been out of the ring for 10 months. I felt in form, my timing was good, I used a variety of shots and I felt strong.

“I felt really good. It shows that I can fight at light-middleweight and it shows that I can hurt natural light-middleweight fighters.

“I didn’t go looking for the stoppage and I didn’t think about the stoppage, I just wanted to put on a good performance but I caught him with a shot, I saw him wobble, and decided to put it on him. If you wobble somebody you don’t step back.

“I’m really happy. It’s another belt to add to the collection and I’m going to have to find somewhere to put it. It’s great to have won titles at three different weights.”

There will be tougher tests to come for Singleton, but he’s responded to defeat in the right manner.

That maiden loss has galvanised the welterweight, ranked 12th in Britain, and seemingly strengthened his physical and mental state.

Undeterred by Eggington’s devastating power, Singleton is gunning for the Savage’s prestigious Lonsdale Belt.

“I’m going to carry on training through Christmas because there’s a chance of a big fight at the end of February,” he said. “I’ve got to keep in shape for that.

“The weight I’m going to fight at is welterweight. If I’m stopping bigger fighters then I’ll be a good, strong, fast, sharp welterweight.

“I’m hoping for an English title next year or an eliminator for a British title.

“Whoever has got those titles, when I’ve earned my place for them, then I want to fight them for it. If it’s still Eggington, or if it’s anybody else, I want a shot at that British title.”

Shayne would like to thank AJ Wood Ltd, Bounce Back Safety Surfaces, Mancini Menswear and Wellocks for their continued sponsorship and support.