Promoter Dennis Hobson is predicting a great atmosphere and a good test for Stuart Hall, when the Darlington man makes the first defence of his Commonwealth bantamweight title at his hometown’s Dolphin Centre on March 9.
‘Stuey’ will face Ghana’s experienced, Isaac Nettey, on the Dennis Hobson Promotions’ show, and the man who has put the bill together believes that hard-hitting Hall cannot afford to be complacent.
“This African kid will be tough,” assessed Hobson of Nettey, who has lost just eight of 30 bouts.
“If Stuart isn’t in the right frame of mind, like against Lee Haskins when he lost that European title fight [July 2012], then he could come unstuck.
“He can’t take his eye off the ball, that’s for certain, but hopefully he’ll get the win and we can keep coming back here and make this place a real fortress for Stuart.
“I’m really looking forward to the show. The last one we had in Darlington last November [when Hall won the Commonwealth belt] was fantastic and the fans were great.”
Dennis, who took Sheffield’s Clinton Woods to world honours and is on the verge of delivering the same for Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell, believes that Stuart, 32, still hasn’t reached his potential.
Former British champion Hall has only been beaten twice in 17 fights, both times with the European belt at stake. If he can negotiate Nettey, then Hobson is hoping to secure a ‘third time lucky’ chance for Stuart.
“He’s a good fighter, an old fashioned throwback,” stated Dennis. “He’s not a Sugar Ray Leonard, but neither was Clinton Woods and look how far we got with him.
“He had an off night against Lee Haskins and got beat narrowly by another of my fighters, Jamie McDonnell, but on his night Stuart can beat plenty of the best boxers in the world.
“We’d like to get [European champion] Stephane Jamoye back over here.
“Jamoye felt a bit hard done by when he lost to Jamie McDonnell [January 2011] and he says he’d like to come back to the UK, so him against Stuart would be a great fight for the North East.”
Hobson is looking to do more work in the North East.
The Sheffield-based promoter, who has worked with the likes of Ricky Hatton and negotiated with Don King, is enjoying his work in Darlington and wants to move further north in the future.
“It’s a real hotbed up in the North East for boxing. It’s got a great history; there are some real characters involved, and the people are passionate about their sport.
“I don’t see why we couldn’t start going up into Newcastle to put on shows.
“There are other TV outlets now getting involved in boxing, and I don’t see why we can’t get some TV title fights going up there. I’d definitely like to be involved in that.”
Stuart Hall will defend his Commonwealth bantamweight title against Issac Nettey at Darlington’s Dolphin Centre on March 9. The show’s undercard will feature a number of talented North East fighters, including former Commonwealth featherweight champion Paul Truscott; Darlington’s Neil Hepper; Middlesbrough’s Shafiq Asif; Spennymoor’s Ben Jackson, and County Durham’s Tommy Ward.
For ticket information contact 0782 4466 535 or the Dolphin Centre on 01325 388406.