LESS than a year ago Shayne Singleton was suffering hallucinations before fights, but now the Colne boxer says even a late change of opponent will not throw him off his stride tonight.
Singleton had been due to face Jose del Rio at The Muni in Colne but the Spaniard withdrew at short notice and his opponent for the WBC international silver welterweight title will now be Hungarian Laszlo Fazekas.
The East Lancashire boxer is unconcerned by the change of opponent, though, saying that he feels fully prepared for the fight.
“The training camp gone really well and everything has been perfect except for the fact we’ve had a change of opponent,” Singleton said.
“My opponent phoned to say he was pulling out. He didn’t give a reason and then a few days after he phoned he had a fight, so we’re not quite sure what has happened there.
“Maybe he was worried about fighting me and has decided to go a different route, I don’t really know.
“I’ve been preparing to face a southpaw in sparring for 12 weeks and the new opponent is orthodox.
“We’ve found a bit of footage of him but it’s from 2012. He’s supposedly a bigger puncher, he’s had 19 wins and 14 by knockout, although he’s lost 13 fights as well.
“But my strength is my jab and that can be awkward against southpaws, whereas now I can go back to my normal style.
“I’ll have 400 people there supporting me too and that does really help.”
Singleton won the English light-welterweight title against former footballer Curtis Woodhouse 13 months ago but had to give up the belt after major issues making the 10-stone limit saw him pull out of a fight with Tyrone Nurse.
“It was really hard to give up the English title after I won it, but I needed to move up in weight and it has made me stronger,” he said.
“To get down to 10 stone it was getting daft, I was having to lose 13 pounds just in water just before the weigh-in.
“It was getting dangerous. I was gone, I was seeing things, hallucinating, so we had to sit down and decide to move up.
“Now at welterweight I still have to diet, but I’m only losing maybe two pounds close to the weigh-in.”
Singleton is targeting the British welterweight title before the end of the year.
“Winning this fight would help me ranking with the WBC and hopefully open a few doors, maybe even for a world title in the future,” he said.
“But I want to get this won first and have a defence of it.
“The thing I’m aiming for at the moment is the British title. Any boxer wants that and I want to fight for it within the next six to eight months.
“Frankie Gavin has the British title but he’s moving up to world level so maybe I could fight English champion Bradley Skeete.
“He’s had 16 fights like me and won them all, with four knockouts, he’s got exactly the same record as me. Although he’s a little bit older it would be a really good fight. I think I could beat him.
“But I just want to get this fight out of the way and then sit down with my manager and see what’s next.”
Fellow East Lancashire fighters Luke Blackledge, Qasim Niaz, Atif Mushtaq and Kurt Grieve are also in action at the Muni tonight.