Hall: I won’t look past Malinga to McDonnell rematch

IBF bantamweight title challenger Stuart Hall is counting down the days until he steps into the ring to battle Vusi Malinga for what will be his first world title fight on December 21.

With Hall v Malinga tickets being snapped up left, right and centre for the pre-Christmas showpiece, one of the North-East’s finest is keen to prove he has the credentials to make it to the very top of the sport.

‘Stuey’ has been locked away at his training camp in preparation for what may well turn out to be the Darlington-native’s toughest test at the First Direct Arena in Leeds – when Malinga makes his maiden trip to the UK.

At 33, Hall knows it is imperative that he takes the opportunity that has arisen from former foe Jamie McDonnell being stripped of the title for not fulfilling his mandatory obligations in time.

Talk has already begun between fight fans about a possible world title return with McDonnell if Hall can overthrow the South African southpaw, although the former British champion will not let those thoughts enter his head.

“Everything has gone superb so far and I just can’t wait for it now,” Hall told World Boxing News.

“I know I am in great shape as everything has gone to plan. I hope Mallinga is in the best shape he can be because I want to face him at his best and I would never look past him.

“I’m ready to win this world title and at the moment I am just focused on December 21st.”

Hall then went on: “I’ve always said I’d love a rematch with Jamie, but I have got to beat Malinga to make that possible and nothing is taking my mind off that right now.”

‘Marvelous’ Malinga brings an impressive 21-4-1 record to Yorkshire having recently gone the full twelve rounds with current world title holder Leo Santa Cruz, and has affectively only lost twice as two of his setbacks came very early on in his career.

The 34 year-old is hoping to make it third time lucky in his quest for a recognised belt after failing in bids to win the IBF and WBC titles in the past and will also see this as his final chance to become a world champion.

Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN

Hall v Malinga and the chief support bout of Frankie Gavin v Joseph Lamptey will be live on BoxNation on December 21. To subscribe click BoxNation