World of Sport

Shayne Ward packs a punch

World of Sport

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X factor winner Shayne Ward is back in the charts and out on the town. He spoke to Eurosport's Desmond Kane about his love for boxing at the annual Nordoff Robbins charity night in London. 

It was not exactly Frank Sinatra turning up for a world heavyweight title bout in Las Vegas, but Shayne Ward appears to appreciate his boxing as much as Ol' Blue Eyes.

The Mancunian pop singer, winner of X Factor in 2005, appears to have made as glorious a comeback as Muhammad Ali in returning to the charts after a three-year hiatus since the release of his last album Breathless in 2007. 

His third album titled Obsession charted at 15th in the United Kingdom last week, while the first song from the album "Gotta Be Somebody", a cover version of the 2008 Nickelback song, reached number 12 in the singles chart.

Life seems to be good for Ward, who is sporting pecs like his fight idol Joe Calzaghe these days in his latest video. One that is strictly for his female fans. 

British boxing promoter Frank Warren collected an award to mark his contribution to the sport over the past 30 years ahead of a night of amateur boxing between England and Ireland.

"It was good to get a couple of pics taken with Frank, because he's a legend in the fight game," said Ward. "If I had to pick out a boxer that I like the most, it would either be Joe Calzaghe or Mike Tyson.

"I just love the way they handled themselves in the ring, and the power they carried. From a British perspective, I would have to say that Joe Calzaghe is the best I have seen."

Ward, 26, was grateful he did not fork out the £15 it cost to watch WBA heavyweight champion David Haye knock out Audley Harrison in three rounds on pay-per-view television a fortnight ago with the challenger landing only one punch. More a farce than a fight. 

"I didn't even book the fight, because I knew which way it was going to go," said Ward.

"I am a bit disappointed that Harrison didn't offer more. He didn't really look like a guy who told himself that this was his only shot at the world title, and give it his best go.

"He should have went out with all guns blazing if he lost, but maybe the nerves got the better of him. I'm just glad I never paid for it.

"We've got a great fighter in David Haye - he has proved it time and time again - and he really needs to bring the credibility back to the heavyweight division.

"I think he is going to do well if he steps in against either of the Klitschko brothers."

Ward revealed that it was Simon Cowell, musical mentor and X Factor judge, who decided that he should opt for a cover version of "Gotta Be Somebody".

It is difficult to imagine it has been five years since he topped the Christmas charts with "That's My goal" after winning X Factor.  

"The career is going really well. I have the album and the single out at the moment. The second single will be out next year, so I can't really complain about life at the moment," said the Manchester United fan.

"With "Gotta Be Somebody", Simon felt that it was the natural song choice to kick that album off. It all felt right in the end.

"I had never actually heard original until it came through, but I was very happy that I was introduced to it.

"I like my own, but really like the original too."

Ward does not expect to see Cowell following in Warren's footsteps as a boxing promoter any time soon, but is going to kick on with own plans to be a big hit.

He joked: "I'm not sure if Simon's a big boxing fan? Do you reckon? He could maybe be a bit handy after doing a few press ups....."

For more information on the charity Nordoff Robbins please go to www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk      

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Shayne Ward meets Frank Warren and (below) Britain's former world light-heavyweight champion John Conteh. Pictures: Dean Fardell

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