Just over two months removed from a technical draw with Martin Ward, IBF bantamweight champion Stuart "Stuey" Hall (16-2-2, 7 KO) is ready to defend his title again.
Hall will face a fellow Englishman, the 25-year-old Paul "Baby-Faced Assassin" Butler (15-0, 8 KO) on Saturday.
A bad cut over the eye of Ward in the second round of his fight with Hall forced the bout to be stopped inconclusively on March 29.
Having suffered little to no damage in the fight, Hall was ready for a quick turnaround.
This will be Butler's first attempt at a world title. He hopes to capture the belt and put on a show for the fans at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle in the process.
Here's how you can watch the bout.
Where: Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle
When: Saturday, June 7 at 2 p.m. ET
TV: Box Nation
Live Stream: Box Nation (subscription required and region restricted)
The Book on Hall
Hall has endured a growing amount of criticism for the caliber of his opponents. Yes, he's fighting frequently, but he's not taking on the types of fighters most would expect a champion to face.
Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook described the fight as follows:
Hall-Butler is another "world title fight" for Hall.
Per Boxing Scene, Hall's promoter Dennis Hobson defended Butler as a formidable opponent for Hall.
I genuinely believe that Hall against Butler will go down as a British classic. There is no love lost between the pair, and their styles should gel to make a ‘fight of the year’. The North East is an untapped area for boxing and we’re doing some fantastic work up there.
It's hard to believe that when Hall himself has said this, per Ian Aldous of Boxing News 24:
I’ve won the world title now and it’s all about trying to earn as much as I can for my family. I’m not bothered about Paul Butler. He’s an easier fight than (IBF ranked no.1 challenger – Randy) Caballero.
Hall has a solid backstory. He's a fighter who got a late start in the sport. He turned pro when he was 28 years old and was able to win his first world title in Dec. 2013.
But the shine of the improbable champion is beginning to wear. Hall needs a thrilling fight against Butler, or another bout this year against a solid opponent to keep the fight community from labeling him less than a fighting champion.
The Book on Butler
Butler doesn't have a ton of professional experience, but he is talented. Anyone who believes this is going to be an easy test for Hall is mistaken.
The challenger is eager and confident to prove he not only deserves to be in the ring with Hall, but he fully expects to beat him and become champion.
Butler told Tom Gray of Ring Magazine:
"I honestly believe I’ll stop Stuart Hall. My plan is to take over from the midway point and see what those 34-year-old legs have got left in them."
Despite the fact that Butler has had just 15 professional fights, he doesn't fight like an inexperienced newbie. He's had a good amateur career and he'll be looking to take a major step as a professional by winning a world title.
Hall is as tough as nails, and he has sneaky power with his right hand. But he does have a tendency to be wide with his punches. Because he'll be at a speed disadvantage against Butler, the champion is in danger.
Butler's hand speed will be a major problem. Everything the challenger does is tighter, quicker and sharper.
If Butler can guard against spending himself early, he'll get the stoppage win he spoke of, and become the new IBF bantamweight champion.
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