Hall had Malinga on the seat of his pants in the third but the South African managed to re-gain his composure – despite a bloodied nose - to see out the full 12 rounds.
In fact, Malinga began to doll out a measure of punishment himself as Hall’s eye began to close up during the seventh but Hall retreated behind his jab to see the fight out.
"I was fighting with one eye but I just tried to use the jab and dig in - that's what world champions are all about," said Hall.
He took the decision 116-111 on one scorecard and 117-110 on the other two after Jamie McDonnell was stripped of the belt having failed to agree a fight against mandatory challenger Malinga.
"When he got up and came back at me, it shows he's different class. It's one of the best nights of my life," added Hall.