Colne has its champion

Champion: Shayne Singleton
Champion: Shayne Singleton

“And the new”. Those are the decisive, life-changing words that Shayne Singleton has become accustomed to hearing.

They were uttered 18 months ago when overcoming Santos Medrano for the International Masters strap - Singleton’s first belt.

They were repeated 13 months ago when defeating new British light welterweight champion Curtis Woodhouse in an epic battle for the prestigious English title.

And, in the atmospheric cauldron of Colne Muni on Friday night, Singleton’s arm was held aloft by referee Ian John-Lewis as those small, but impacting collection of words were delivered once more to present him with the WBC International Silver welterweight belt.

But the majority housed within the venue already knew the outcome - including Singleton and coach Karl Ince. It was never in doubt.

Opponent Laszlo Fazekas’s record of 14 knockouts from 19 career victories suggested the Hungarian was capable of doing damage. But he never got close to Singleton.

The Colne fighter eased through the 10 rounds behind a piercing jab, that often penetrated his foe’s guard. He commanded the ring on the front foot, cutting off the space to his opponent who was often left exposed when uncontrollably attempting to break from the restrictions of the ring’s perimeter.

Singleton’s footwork was too fast, his upper body movement was too clever, and his heart and desire was too much for Fazekas to cope with.

The comfort of the victory didn’t show the Hungarian’s inadequacies, it merely served to highlight the level that Singleton is growing toward in the professional ranks.

It’s now 17 wins from as many contests for Singleton - who conceded that may be his last fight on home soil as he looks to spread his wings.

The fringe WBC strap can be the one that unlocks doors of opportunity within the sport. VIP stable mate Tommy Coyle won the lightweight version in 2012 and subsequently moved on to Commonwealth and IBF International showdowns.

Now, Singleton will be looking to make an even bigger splash in the 10st 7lb division and Frankie Gavin’s domestic crown could be the ambition.

For now Singleton can revel in his achievements to date after judges Michael Alexander and John Latham scored the contest 100-90, while judge Phil Edwards scored it 100-91.

Colne has its champion!

For a full reaction to the fight, plus a picture special, read Friday’s Nelson Leader.