By Shaun Brown
Stuart Hall (19-4-2, 7 KOs) will face Rodrigo Guerrero (24-5-1, 16 KOs) in an IBF World bantamweight title final eliminator in Leeds on April 16.
Hall, who has been recently fighting under the Matchroom Boxing banner, is a former IBF 118lb world champion having won the belt in 2013 against Vusi Malinga (UD 12) before losing it in his second defence to Paul Butler (SD 12) in 2014.
Now, the 35-year-old from Darlington, can take a significant step to reclaiming his title – now held by fellow Brit Lee Haskins – by beating Guerrero in April. The Matchroom promotion will be headlined by the WBC's number 3 featherweight Josh Warrington.
“I’m looking forward to the fight,” Hall told BoxingScene.com
“My last three fights have basically been warm-up fights. I’ve been itching to get back at the level where I should be at and these are the fights I want, the fights what I thrive off. I can’t wait. I’m in full training, got plenty of time to get ready for the fight. I’m very excited. It’s a top name.”
Guerrero, 27, is a former IBF World super flyweight champion, and the Mexican southpaw has also challenged for the WBC and WBA versions at 115lbs having fought the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Raul Martinez, Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr and Daiki Kameda in four world title fights between 2010 and 2013.
“I know he’s Mexican so he’s going to be tough,” said Hall when ‘Scene asked if he knew anything about Guerrero.
“I’ve not seen that much of him. I’ve had a quick look on the internet and he looks like a decent fighter. He comes forward to fight and that’s what I like to do, I think it’s going to be a brilliant fight and one I think I can win. This is a big fight. This is my big chance to get back up there and get the big fights that I want.”
A win for Hall, in what looks like being an all-action encounter against Guerrero, will put him in pole position for a shot at the current IBF champion Lee Haskins. The Bristol fighter won the title in unusual circumstances in November when Randy Caballero, who defeated Hall in October 2014 for the vacant IBF World bantamweight title, came in five and a half pounds over the 118lb divisional limit.
Caballero was stripped of his world title making Haskins the new world champion.
Hall lost to Haskins back in 2012 (UD 12) and is itching to get another shot at his compatriot to avenge that defeat.
“I win this fight, I get a fight with Haskins and I can put a defeat away and beat him and get my title back. It would be fantastic if I beat the Mexican, beat Haskins - and who knows - get a rematch with [WBA champion] Jamie McDonnell who I highly respect.”
Shaun Brown is Boxing Scene's UK News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @sbrown2pt0 Contact him at [email protected]