Danny Winterbottom at Ringside
Shane Singleton snatched the English light welterweight title from Curtis Woodhouse in a hotly disputed 10 round split decision that topped Dave Coldwell’s “War of the Roses” promotion at the Bowlers Arena in Manchester.
Judge Dave Parris saw the contest 96-94 in favour of Woodhouse but was overruled by Phil Edwards and Steve Gray who scored 96-94 and 96-95 respectively. Howard Foster officiated.
After overcoming a slow start, that saw him tagged with a right hand and knocked off balance, Woodhouse (9st 13.5lbs) stalked the challenger behind a jam rod jab and worked well to the body.
Singleton (10st) was supported by an army of around 300 fans but was forced into retreat by the constant pressure of the marauding champion who was making the first defence of his title.
“Pop, pop your jab” pleaded Karl Ince in the corner of Singleton but it was Woodhouse who was getting home with his lead right and working to the body. Singleton tried to measure a right uppercut counter over the jab of Woodhouse but the Driffield man evaded the shot a ploughed forward.
A cut appeared on the right cheek of Singleton in the third session and his left eye was also beginning to swell. Woodhouse continued to walk his man down and a big left hand crashed off the jaw of the challenger as the bell sounded.
Another cut, this time on the left cheek, hampered Singleton further as his face became a mask of blood. He had brief success with single shots but it was the educated pressure of the champion that caught the eye of ringsiders.
Singleton never stopped throwing punches but was always on the retreat as Woodhouse shook them off to land harder shots of his own. He simply had more in his arsenal in these reporters’ eyes.
Woodhouse was deducted a point in round 10 for hitting on the break and Singleton won the session to take it 10-8 and make the gap more respectable on my card.
However the scoring judges (except Dave Parris who scored for Woodhouse) surprised most impartial spectators by awarding the contest to Singleton by split decision.
Speaking in his dressing room later a dejected Woodhouse said “This could be the end for me. I don’t know if I have it in me to build myself up again”
“I’ve got to go home and tell my son that I lost my title.”
Commenting on how he thought the fight was going he said “I was walking through him. He looked like he had been hit by a steam train.”
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