In a brutal war of attrition Darlington’s Stuart Hall claimed the vacant IBF bantamweight title when he outpointed South Africa’s Vusi Malinga inside the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
Scores of 116-111 and 117-110 twice saw Hall claim the IBF crown that was ruthlessly stripped from Jamie McDonnell early this year.
Hall set a tremendous pace and dropped Malinga in round two with a straight right hand. The South African, noted as a slow starter, wasn’t badly hurt and when Hall inevitably slowed down in the middle rounds the two time world title challenger came on strong.
The Darlington man looked unsteady on his feet at times through rounds 6-10 but despite his energy levels draining away and his left eye swelling grotesquely he somehow found reserves of heart and guts to outpunch Malinga during some furious exchanges.
Whatever Malinga threw at Hall the 34-year-old soaked it up and wouldn’t be denied his dream chance to claim a world title in one of the best fights seen on these shores in 2013.
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