SHAYNE Singleton says his boxing career is ahead of schedule after being crowned the new light welterweight International Masters champion.
The Colne boxer went the distance with Spanish southpaw Santos Medrano in Bolton on Sunday, coming out on top of what he described as the biggest of his career to stretch his winning record to 13.
Singleton, nicknamed ‘The Pain’, has not let the belt out of his sight since lifting it at the Reebok Stadium – even sleeping with it on the night of his 10-round victory.
“I didn’t expect this to come this soon,” said the 23-year-old, who had never fought beyond six rounds.
“Words can’t explain what it means.
“It’s 13 years of hard training, six days a week, and it’s paid off.
“I’m over the moon having that belt in front of me – I’m the happiest man in the world.
“I had it at the bottom of my bed on Sunday night and when I woke up I opened an eye to check that it was still there.”
Singleton was pleased with how the fight went and the manner in which he stuck to the methods preached by his corner.
“I was told to not get involved in the war. Santos is a dangerous puncher and anything could have happened if he had landed that one. He caught me with a couple of good shots to the head, but I was disciplined and stuck to the plan,” he explained.
“Southpaws are tricky but it’s like anything, if you learn how to fight them you can make life a bit easier.
“It is still awkward against southpaws, but I had it sussed.
“It went the distance but I was very close to knocking him out in the ninth and 10th rounds when I stepped it up a bit.
“He was hanging on for dear life.”
Singleton added that the support of over 200 friends, family and followers was an added boost.
“I had quality support. It was very noisy,” he said.
“It’s probably the biggest venue that I’ve fought in.
“I had my second and third professional fights there but I haven’t boxed there since. I was glad I went back there for the title.”
Singleton now plans a couple of days of rest before returning to the gym next week. And thoughts have already turned to his next step.
“I’ll probably have a couple of eight-round fights and perhaps step up the class of opponents, and then perhaps look for a defence of this title,” he said.
“I like the pressure of being unbeaten – I get a buzz off it – and now winning this belt.
“I’d have a different attitude to defending the title than winning it because I’d want to make sure no-one took it off me.”
Whatever happens he expects to be back in the ring before the end of the year.
“I’m hoping to be out again in December,” said Singleton, who headlined a bill which included fellow East Lancashire boxer Luke Blackledge on the undercard.
The 22-year-old, from Clitheroe but who is now based in Accrington – training with Kevin Maree at Stirk House, Gisburn, went 10 rounds with Carl Wild to win the British Masters light heavyweight title.