Darlington’s favourite son Stuart Hall aims to become world title challenger once again by defeating Ellesmere Port‘s Paul Butler on the Matchroom Boxing show “Battle On The Mersey” at the Echo Arena Liverpool on the 30th September.
Let’s take a look back at Stuart Hall‘s rise to prominence in the bantamweight division.
It began on the 26th April 2008 at the Darlington & District club where a 28 year old Hall debuted and picked up the first professional win of his career over journeyman Abdul Mghrbel via a points decision.
Hall’s career picked up quick and it had to because he was late starter into the game. By his 9th fight he challenged Ian Dappa Napa for the vacant British bantamweight crown and was successful in picking up his first professional title by defeating the much more experienced Napa.
13 fights into his career Hall then came up against fellow future world champion Jamie Mcdonnell in a bout for the British, Commonwealth & European titles. This was a massive fight the both of them with so much at stake, and it certainly showed in the ring. Stuart unfortunately walked away on the wrong end of a unanimous decision and in turn lost his prized possession in the British title, this was just the beginning!
Stuart bounced straight back with a victory, but again came up against another future world champion in Lee Haskins for the European title. Hall lost against Haskins via another unanimous decision. Hall had to again bounce back from defeat and he did so in style beating Josh Wale and Sergio Perales. This set Hall up for his first shot at world honours.
23rd December 2013, this was the date for Stuart Hall‘s big chance, but it was not going to be easy. His opponent was Vusi Malinga a man that had only lost to well known bantamweight names like Leo Santa Cruz and Hozumi Hasegawa. Stuart was a massive underdog for this fight but the Darlington man didnt care and was determined to be come a world champion.
This was a man on a mission, Hall started at a phenominal pace and and in the third round dumped the bemused Malinga on the seat of pants. The pace started to slow around the half way point and Stuart was taking more shots at this point, which caused swelling to the left eye. As the fight went on the eye became worse and the tiredness kicked in, but Hall still battled away until the final bell. As the announcement was made “And The New” the whole of the Leeds crowd and Darlington fans erupted, this was the moment Stuart Hall had dreamt of.
Stuart made one defence of the title before coming against the man he faces on the 30th September. Paul Butler was younger and fresher than Hall and that for me was the main factor in the defeat and subsequent loss of his IBF title. Butler took the title on a split decision in what was a great fight, but that night it was not meant to be for Hall.
The hunger is clearly still there from Hall and if he can produce a great performance then he will have his one final roll of the dice at former foe Mcdonnell, but a loss spells the end of a hard fought career.
Whatever happens come fight night we can safely say that Stuart Hall has forged a great career in the game and provided Darlington with a world champion to be proud of.