In a tough test, Stuart will take on American, Sergio Perales, for the IBF inter-continental bantamweight title and, after a scheduled defence of his Commonwealth title fell through in March, Hall is delighted at the opportunity.
“It was unbelievable when that fight got called off,” stated the 33-year-old. “It was an eight-week camp down the drain, so I was devastated.
“Fighting on this world title bill is going to be brilliant though. It’s the fight and what I’m fighting for that will be the main thing, and I’m over the moon that all that hard work at the gym hasn’t been wasted now.”
Big-punching Perales, 25, will bring with him an impressive record when he climbs through the ropes for his first fight in Europe; having lost just once in 23 fights and with 14 KO victories. Ranked highly by the IBF, ‘Stuey’ knows the Texan southpaw is a tough ask, but the Darlington man is spurred on by the challenge.
“He’s ranked number five by the IBF, so it’s a fight I want,” said Stuart, the former British champion. “I’m moving forwards not backwards, and I’m absolutely champing at the bit and can’t wait for it. There’s not much footage of him on the internet but his record speaks for itself. It’s going to be a really tough fight, and I need to make sure I’m on top of my game.
“He’s going to be a good southpaw but as long as I get my preparation right then I’ll be OK. I don’t want to read too much into it [Perales’ record] but as long as I get myself right, on a big occasion like this, then I think I’ll come through and do a job on him.
“It will definitely be an exciting fight. I’m going to take it to him, and he’s had a few stoppages, so it’s going to be tough but I think I’ll rise to the occasion for this one. I’ve gained a lot of experience in my two losses and I’m in a really good place mentally and physically.”
17-fight Hall’s brace of career defeats came in European title bouts to the aforementioned Jamie McDonnell (pictured)and Bristol’s Lee Haskins. If Stuart can overcome his Perales test then those defeats will be tempered by his new status as IBF inter-continental champ. Focused firmly on the job in hand, the North East man is counting down the days to his Doncaster date, and a potentially exciting future.
“Hopefully the Doncaster fans will get behind me because I had a good fight with their lad, Jamie McDonnell. This is a really big chance for me. You don’t get many [chances] and I don’t intend to blow this one.
“[When I win] I’ll be right up there and things can only get better. I’d love Jamie to go on and win that world title and then get a rematch with him. An all-British rematch for a world title, that would be amazing, wouldn’t it?”
Dennis Hobson Promotions presents ‘Making History’ featuring Jamie McDonnell versus Julio Ceja for the vacant IBF world bantamweight title at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium on May 11. The undercard for the show will include Stuart Hall and Sergio Perales contesting the IBF inter-continental bantamweight title; Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor defending his International Masters (Bronze) middleweight title; Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham fighting for the English flyweight title; Doncaster heavyweights Dave ‘The White Rhino’ Allen and Carl Spencer; and Sheffield’s Jamie Sampson.
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