Ryan Songalia

Hall’s promoter: McDonnell rematch not in play for March defense

Newly-crowned IBF bantamweight titleholder Stuart Hall will likely have to wait for his dream rematch with domestic rival Jamie McDonnell.

Dennis Hobson, the England-based promoter who handles both fighters, nixed the idea of having Hall (16-2-1, 7 knockouts) face McDonnell (23-2-1, 10 KOs) in a rematch of their 2011 British title fight won by McDonnell.

Pending litigation between McDonnell and Hobson appears to be the major roadblock.

“I don't think that's a fight that we need to do now,” said Hobson. “[McDonnell] didn't want to fight Stuart Hall when he was champion. I don't think we need to rush into that fight. If everything works out, I'll look into it. I've got some other ideas for Stu that I've been working on, there's a little bit more work that I need to do before I can put things in play.”

Hall, 33, of Darlington, England won the vacant belt this past weekend with a thrilling unanimous decision victory over South African Vusi Malinga in Leeds, England in a fight televised by cable channel BoxNation.

In an interview with RingTV.com last week, Hall said he hoped to win the title and avenge his decision victory against McDonnell before retiring.

Hobson says he wants Hall to make his first title defense in the North East of England in March, but hasn't settled on an opponent.

McDonnell had won the same belt in May with a points victory over Julio Ceja, but was stripped of the title by the New Jersey, U.S.-based IBF in October because, according to an IBF statement, “Jamie McDonnell did not supply signed contracts for his mandatory defense scheduled for Nov. 9 within the prescribed time according to IBF rules.”

McDonnell had announced intentions to part ways with Hobson just weeks prior to being stripped, and has since won a pair of eight-round scheduled bouts on events promoted by Matchroom Sport in the past two months.

An email to McDonnell seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

Hobson says there will be a hearing before the British Boxing Board of Control on January 14 in Cardiff, Wales to determine the status of his contract with McDonnell, followed by a hearing in civil court “a month or so later.”

“It's something that is an unpleasant thing but I've got to protect my interests,” said Hobson.

 

 

Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and is a contributor to The Ring magazine and the sports editor of Rappler.com . He can be reached at ryan@ryansongalia.com. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.

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