Hall inspired by McDonnell success
One day Stuart Hall would like a rematch with Jamie McDonnell after losing to him four-and-a-half years ago. For now, however, Hall (19-4-2,7 KOs) is using the WBA world bantamweight champion, and his recent magnificent overseas efforts, as an inspiration to get his own world title aspirations back on track.
“I really respect him and proper respect what he’s done,” Hall told Boxing Monthly. “I look at Jamie McDonnell now and he’s like a role model really. He’s one of them guys I want to fight but I’ve watched him and what he’s done, it’s an incentive to anyone out there.
“He’s even inspired me the way he’s went about his business. Jamie’s on massive money now and he wouldn’t get the money he deserves for what he’s done to fight someone like me or [Lee] Haskins, fair play to him.
“If I can get a belt then it makes more sense then. You never know it could happen. If not, I’ll see him in a pub and we’ll go for a drink!”
Hall, 36, returns to action on 16 April in an intriguing tussle with Mexico’s Rodrigo Guerrero at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
A win for Hall will put him in the hat for future rematches, not only with McDonnell, but with current IBF 118lbs champion Lee Haskins. Another reverse that Hall suffered under four years ago when he dropped a wide points loss for the European crown.
Hall admits that next month’s fight with the former IBF super-flyweight champion is his last chance. Defeat and it may be time to call it a day at the highest level or, indeed, retire from his eight-year career.
“Everyone goes on about age,” Hall commented. “It catches up with you but I still feel good. I felt brilliant in my last fight [against Elvis Guillen]. I know it wasn’t an unreal opponent but he was very game and very hard and he kept coming. One of my friends said to me, ‘I don’t know what they’ve been doing with you down in Birmingham but keep doing it because it’s the best we’ve seen you box in two years’.”
Working with Max McCracken and Paddy Lynch has put a spring in the step of Hall, as has fighting under the Matchroom promotional banner. A spring that has slowly been finding its bounce since losing to Randy Caballero amidst the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo for his old IBF world crown - the title that Hall lost to Paul Butler four months earlier.
Caballero found himself on boxing’s blacklist last November when the 25-year-old Californian chose to lose his world title on the scales to Lee Haskins, rather than defending it in the ring. It was one of 2015’s most eyebrow raising yet puzzling stories after the champion came in five-and-a-half pounds over the limit.
“It just baffled me,” said Hall of what transpired in Las Vegas. “You can’t fail weight by five-and-a-half pounds. It’s near enough impossible. My thoughts on it, serious thoughts? I think Caballero’s thought he’s moving up anyway.
“Basically, I think someone’s been in his lug and said, ‘listen, it’s a risky fight to take with Haskins. You’re going to move up a weight, go to super-bantamweight’. I think that’s what happened to be honest.
"I just really don’t understand how someone can be five-and-a-half pounds overweight. I know what it’s like to have a drink of water when you’re trying to make weight, you could have a bottle of water and you still haven’t put five-and-a-half pound on. It baffled me. Caballero lost his belt, didn’t get paid. What was he thinking?"