Stuart Hall has fired a warning to Paul Butler as the pair heat up the verbal exchanges ahead of their June 7 showdown.
The two will face off at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena for the IBF bantamweight title, currently held by Darlington-based Hall after his victory over Vusi Malinga in December.
It will be the Liverpudlian’s second bout at bantamweight, spending most of his career campaigning at super flyweight. He defeated Oreste Bernabe Nieva for the WBA inter-continental bantamweight crown in his maiden fight at 118 lbs.
Butler announced the bout on Twitter before any firm contracts has been signed, which angered the champion considerably: “Who is he to say he’s fighting me when I hadn’t agreed it.
“I was holding out for more money. I’ve won the world title now and it’s all about trying to earn as much as I can for my family.”
Hall and Butler have met in the ring once before, having sparred together a couple of years ago. Quite what happened during that sparring session depends on who you believe, with both fighters claiming they came out on top.
The champion is in no doubt about what happened: “He was sharp and half-decent but he didn’t bother me one bit. And I felt, when I put it on him, a bit sorry for him.
“He’s been saying he handled me. It was two years ago and back then I felt I had too much strength for him and his punches weren’t doing anything.”
It is set to be an intriguing match-up in the North East. Butler is the younger and fresher man at 25 years old while Hall appears to be maturing, both in and outside the ring, since his victory over Malinga back in December.
Hall has also fought respected names in the division, with wins over American Sergio Parales as well as Malinga. In spite of notable successes, he has been beaten to Lee Haskins and Jamie McDonnell in domestic level bouts.
Although he acknowledges Butler’s potential, the 34-year-old believes he is too strong for his foe: “He thinks he’s the bees-knees. He talks more than anyone in my whole career, so I can’t wait to get in the ring and start punching him and see how good he really is.
“He’s shooting his mouth off and they can try and put me down all they want, but I’ll be ready on June 7.”
Dennis Hobson promotions are again working with Frank Warren to bring some of the North East’s brightest prospects to the undercard.
Bradley Saunders, Josh Leather and British cruiserweight champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson will all feature on the show dubbed ‘Rampage’, while there is also an outing for English lightweight king Kirk Goodings.
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