Shayne Singleton confident he’ll be fighting fit at new weight

Colne boxing star Shayne Singleton at Karl Inces gym in Preston
Colne boxing star Shayne Singleton at Karl Inces gym in Preston

Shayne Singleton declared that he’ll be more ‘intimidating’ when he steps up a division to make a living at light middleweight.

The 27-year-old, who had previously crept in to the top 10 in the United Kingdom in the 147lb rankings, has made a judgement call following concerns that his body was taking too much punishment in attempts to avoid tipping the scales.

Shayne Singleton celebrating victory over Wayne Reed in Wigan last year. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Shayne Singleton celebrating victory over Wayne Reed in Wigan last year. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

The former Sandygate amateur boxer, a title-holder in three separate weight classes, revealed that defeat to outright British champion Bradley Skeete was the final straw and a decision was made to notify manager Steve Wood and coach Karl Ince.

With 30-hour fasts often the norm ahead of official weigh-ins for contests, the owner of the WBC International Silver strap said: “I’m going to be stepping up to light middleweight. I’m at 5% body fat when weighing 11st 3lbs and I’ve still got 10lbs to shed to make weight.

“The only way that’s going to happen is through dropping muscle or water. I’ve ended up draining myself for 30 hours before the weigh in.

“My manager Steve Wood agreed but my coach Karl Ince believes I can still be a top challenger at that weight.

“He’s put my weakness against Skeete down to me being off balance, standing square on, my feet being in the wrong position.”

Even with his conqueror expected to relinquish his title to move on to better things following a third defence against Dale Evans, there still isn’t any temptation for Singleton to stay put.

“I think I’d be more comfortable at light middleweight because I know what I’m having to go through at the moment,” he said.

“It’s painful trying to make weight so 11st is going to be my new venture.

“It’s frustrating for me because I really want to stay at welterweight. I can make the weight, I’ve shown that, but it’s wrong what I’m doing to my body.

“I’m not a welterweight, I’ve just got to accept that. My body is taking too much punishment and it’s having an affect on me.

“When I’m a bit heavier in sparring there’s a huge difference in levels. I’ve going in with heavier fighters and having no problems. I’m hurting them, wobbling them and dropping them.”

The one-time king of England, who is contemplating a run out at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on September 2, certainly isn’t alien to his new

surroundings.

Singleton was in the shape of his life when stopping Gary Cooper at super welterweight at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in 2015.

Singleton’s stablemate Rick Godding is ranked 12th at 154lbs while Liam Smith, Liam Williams and Joe Pigford are currently considered the best of British at that level.

“There are some top fighters in that division,” he said.

“There’s Liam Smith and Liam Williams though they’re a level above. I sparred with Liam Smith before the Sam Eggington fight and I felt comfortable.

“He can punch hard but I held my own and came out with some real confidence. There are some monsters in this division but it’s either this or hang my gloves up.

“I’ll be physically more intimidating, I’ll be stronger and I’ll be better mentally. I fought Gary Cooper who is a good, strong light middleweight.

“It was a good test for me and it was probably the best that I’ve ever felt in a fight. I dominated for eight rounds and then knocked him out.

“The bigger fights for me, at that time, were at welterweight though. I’m still only 27 so if the going is good then I’ve still got some good years left in me. I just want to prove myself and see where it goes.”