Shayne shines on Sky Sports to close in on Skeete

Shayne Singleton downs Adil Anwar to recapture the WBC International Silver welterweight title
Shayne Singleton downs Adil Anwar to recapture the WBC International Silver welterweight title

Shayne Singleton has has thrown his hat in to the ring for a shot at Bradley Skeete’s British and Commonwealth titles in the welterweight division.

The 26-year-old forced referee Victor Loughlin to intervene one-and-a-half minutes in to the eighth round of his contest against Adil Anwar at the Manchester Arena as he reclaimed his WBC International Silver strap.

In front of a bumper crowd, acting as chief support to Anthony Crolla’s successful WBA World lightweight title defence versus Ismael Barroso, Singleton had to be patient in overcoming the slippery Yorkshireman but the clinical manner of victory was well worth the wait.

Singleton, under the guidance of coach Karl Ince, was quick out of the blocks in his bid to impress Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn and he had the former Prizefighter champion on the seat of his pants early on with a damaging right hook that was backed up by a beautiful left.

However, to Anwar’s credit, the two-weight English champion survived the count and recovered well. The ‘Platinum Kid’ drew an uneconomical side out of Singleton, staying on the edge of range to frustrate and started to find a rhythm, albeit without genuinely troubling his opponent.

Anwar set the tempo of the middle rounds, though it’s highly doubtful that the scorecards of the three judges ringside - John Keane, Mark Lyson and John Latham - reflected that of Jim Watt’s who had the Leeds man 57-56 ahead after six rounds.

But Singleton’s power and conditioning ensured that numbers wouldn’t be applicable to the outcome on the night. Chasing the belt he lost to Sam Eggington 14 months ago, Singleton kept his emotions in check as he refused to allow the red mist to descend.

In the eighth round, with the contest still pretty much in the balance, Singleton threw himself in to proximity with a jab to the body before landing a destructive overhand right that was only just bettered by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s, inflicted on Amir Khan, hours later.

The casualty, again, fought to survive when getting to his feet after another eight count, but Singleton wasn’t allowing him to get out of a hole on this occasion.

Hearn would’ve been able to hear the crunching of Anwar’s jawline when sat directly beneath the finishing three-shot combination. Singleton’s primal scream illustrated his elation as Anwar staggered uncontrollably across the ring.

“I’ve watched it back about 50 times,” said Singleton. “It was an incredible experience. Carl Froch looked at me from ringside afterwards, applauded me and said ‘brilliant’. He gave me good feedback on Sky as well which is great to hear from somebody like him.

“We had to be clever in there with our gameplan. It changed a few times but eventually he played right in to our hands. He was fired up, thought he’d found a way back in to it, and he got complacent. He was shouting and banging his gloves together which is exactly what I did against Sam Eggington.

“At that point he came on to us a bit more and I eventually put him to sleep with a big right hand. It was the best right hand I’ve thrown in my life. He just got a bit too confident and it worked in our favour.

“That’s definitely given me the hunger to do it again. I would love a chance to defend my title on TV. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and I just want to keep this going.”

Singleton added: “I can remember everything. It’s a special memory to have. I just soaked it all up and enjoyed it. Hopefully I was entertaining enough for Hearn to give me another chance.

“There are plenty of options out there - Sam Eggington, Dale Evans and Glenn Foot. I just want to get to Bradley Skeete.”