Ahead of his English title eliminator against Barnsley’s Matthew Mallin at Preston’s Guild Hall this Saturday (17 June), Preston middleweight Mick Hall has promised a return to form ahead of what he hopes will be a busy and successful 2017.
The 31-year old’s last appearance at the same venue in January ended in an 11th round stoppage against Blackpool’s Jack Arnfield, but Hall insists that he has put that performance behind him and improved as a fighter as he prepares for a contest he acknowledges is, ‘make or break’.
Ahead of the contest against former Central Area champion Mallin, Hall said: “In the Arnfield fight I didn’t too well until the later rounds. I thought I was getting through a bit by then but I didn’t perform at anything like the level I know I’m capable of for most of the earlier rounds. Maybe I started off too slow, and I’m not making excuses because Jack deserved his win, but I broke a rib in the build-up and that obviously hampered me a bit.”
The Arnfield fight, for the WBA international middleweight title, was only Hall’s second contest in almost two years due to problems outside the ring, but a change of manager – to Neil Marsh – and a refocusing of his undoubted talent in 2016 appeared to have turned things around, even accounting for the subsequent loss.
He said: “The injury didn’t help but I felt good in camp and Neil had given me the opportunity and I wanted to repay him for the faith he had put in me. Fighters fight through the pain and that’s what I did – but definitely the experience [it was the first time Hall had been beyond six rounds] was a good one and it has made me a much better fighter. I know I can last the distance now and, with all due respect to Matthew, I can last the distance and hold my own against better fighters.”
Hall insists this camp has been better than any he has enjoyed before, and, whilst seeing this as very much a’ crossroads’ fight, he is ready to repay all those who have shown faith in him in the past year and a half.
He said: “I’ve got a proper team behind me now – a great manager in Neil and a great trainer in Alan [Levene], strength and conditioning coaches, a nutritionist and I’m enjoying the work I’m doing with Dr George Wilson at Liverpool John Moores University’s Sports Science Department. It’s as professional as it can be and my training has improved as a result. I really feel like a new fighter. I feel great and can’t wait to show people what I am capable of on Saturday in a fight I’ve got to win. Theres nowhere for me to go after this if I lose. This is my chance now.”
Tickets, priced at £65 for table ringside seats and £35 general admission, for Hall’s next fight at Preston Guild Hall on 17 June are available from Preston Guild Hall box office on 01772 80 44 44.
With a mix of local talent and emerging prospects, the bill also features Blackpool heavyweight, Bill Hodgson; Blackpool’s talented RP Davies; Frenchman, Renal Garrido; Liverpool’s Joe Wood; Derbyshire’s talented Zach Parker and Blackburn’s Kurt Grieve.