Lightweight boxer Tommy Coyle said it best in the aftermath of his loss to one-time Olympic Gold medallist Luke Campbell MBE.
The 25-year-old fighter took to Twitter after being stopped in the 10th round of his clash at Yorkshire’s Craven Park Stadium professing: “You are not defeated when you lose, you are defeated when you quit”.
Sure, that enlightening and inspirational collection of words go some way to masking the disappoint of an athlete in defeat. Unquestionably, though, they ring true.
A succession of 20 professional triumphs, across the light welterweight and welterweight classes, may have quilted Shayne Singleton in a bubble of invincibility.
But the reversal to Sam Eggington in March has served its purpose. The former 140lb English champion, who recently received a replica of the belt he was forced to relinquish after victory over Curtis Woodhouse, will return a physically and mentally stronger specimen because of the lessons learned that night in Hull.
“The loss is going to help me,” insisted Singleton. “It’s already helped me and I’m not even back in the ring yet. It taught me that I can’t get away with certain things at that level. I paid the price. It’s a shame I got beat taking those risks and lost my unbeaten record, but now I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“I’ve got to make sure it doesn’t happen again because it could leave me at a loose end in my career. I want to be one of the best fighters in Britain. Curtis Woodhouse lost five times before becoming British champion. Derry Mathews has lost nine times. Defeats mould you in to a better fighter. I’ll certainly learn from it. I’ll be a more intelligent fighter because of it.”
There’s certainly no shame in defeat to Eggington. Promoter Eddie Hearn has raved about the Stourbridge protege, and there’s no doubt that the 21-year-old is edging towards European honours having claimed the British and Commonwealth straps.
“Seeing what Sam has gone on to achieve has made the defeat feel a little bit better,” he said. “I got beat by a top notch fighter who has gone on to become British and Commonwealth champion. He’ll definitely go on to bigger and better things.
“With Eddie Hearn around him he’ll eventually get up to fighting for world titles. There’s talk of a fight with Frankie Gavin, some people think he’s not ready for that, but I think he would beat him. He would be too big and strong for him.”
Singleton added: “He’ll do very well but I want to get back up there with him and fight him again to my game plan without losing my head and being daft. I’ve watched the fight five or six times since and I was impressed with my performance in the rounds where I didn’t get involved.
“He fought Glenn Foot last month and he won every round. The fight wasn’t even close. I took a couple of rounds and it shows that I’m up at that level.”
Karl Ince’s student will make his long-awaited return to the ring on October 3rd at Preston Guild Hall, though an opponent is yet to be announced. Anybody wishing to purchase tickets can contact Shayne on 07857 476485.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” he said. “I’ve done a bit of sparring already with Rick Godding. I did a few rounds with him and put it on him. It felt good to be throwing punches and landing them but it also felt good to be getting tagged myself. I feel rested and rejuvenated and I’m ready to come back.”