Brave Hall defeated by old foe Arnfield

Mick Hall, left, was beaten by Jack Arnfield in a bruising encounter at the Guild Hall

Mick Hall, left, was beaten by Jack Arnfield in a bruising encounter at the Guild Hall

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Preston’s Mick Hall went to hospital as a precaution after losing his World Boxing Association international middleweight contest to holder Jack Arnfield at the Guild Hall.

Hall’s valiant but unavailing attempt to wrest the title away from Arnfield in front of a noisy crowd, the bulk of them backing the Prestonian, ended before the 12th round.

Referee Howard Foster ruled that Hall was unable to continue - the boxer had a gruesome swelling on his forehead that kept getting bigger and more ugly as the bout progressed.

Hall went to Preston hospital immediately after the bout, though ringside medics at the time said it was precautionary. The injury had been caused by the accuracy of Arnfield’s piercing jabs and looked very nasty - from the second round onwards the brave Hall also suffered a cut above the left eye.

Arnfield, announced as from Blackpool in the ring but hailing from Stalmine, now has his sights on a British middleweight title challenge and few would argue that he doesn’t deserves it on this showing.

Though Hall was out-boxed by his old rival, he very nearly pulled off an upset seconds before the stoppage

Towards the end of the 11th Arnfield got uncharacteristically careless and was caught by a stinging right, the best single punch of the fight.

Arnfield took it well, but he must have felt it and it gave Hall’s raucous, enthusiastic fans in the crowd a brief moment of hope,

However, that was to fade with Hall unfit to carry on his brave title challenge.

It was the sheer number and accuracy of Arnfield’s blows before that which saw him home.

It had been billed as a grudge match between the pair. Arnfield’s first win over Hall had been a contentious one at Prizefighter in Blackpool nearly two years ago.

But there could be no arguing whatsoever over the outcome of this re-match Arnfield was winning by a wide margin at the time of the stoppage before the start of the 12th round, with Hall unable to continue

Arnfield said: “We had to stick to the game-plan – we knew what was coming and I had to out-box Hall, which I did completely.”

Hall was allowed home when x-rays showed nothing was broken. His trainer Alan Levene said that the hospital visit was just a precaution.

“Mick is ok, but when you have a swelling like that which is spreading, you have to be careful. Prevention is better than cure and it was my decision to pull Mick out of the fight, not the referee’s as was announced.

“Mick was checked out at the hospital and he was allowed home and given some anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling and pain killers.

“Mick will be able come again. We have no complaints about the result. All credit to Jack Arnfield for carrying out his game plan and coming down the stretch like the champion he is.”

Kirkham heavyweight Bill Hodgson made it six wins out of six after the belated start to his professional career.

He beat Hungarian Ferenc Zsalek on points in a four-rounder.

Chorley’s Mark Jeffers outpointed Anthony Fox for his fourth pro win.

In the top of the bill Robbie Davies Junior, of Liverpool, knocked out Hungarian Zoltan Szabo in the ninth round to retain his WBA continental super-lightweight title.