Preston boxer Mick Hall has the skills to become the next Prizefighter Middleweight champion.
That is the view of his trainer Karl Ince after the 28-year-old star was invited by boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to take part in the prestigious tournament, which will be televised live on Sky Sports.
To be held on February 14 at Winter Gardens in Blackpool, the competition is an enormous opportunity for Hall to showcase his undoubted talent on a national stage.
Having won all 11 of his professional fights so far during his career, the former Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club fighter boasts a fine record.
But on the night, he will be up against fighters with similar impressive pedigrees, including fellow undefeated stars Tom Doran, Craig Cunningham, Luke Keeler and Blackpool’s own Jack Arnfield.
Making up the list of eight fighters is Cumbria’s Liam Conroy, Cello Renda and Warren Tansey.
The format of the competition will see four quarter-finals taking place, before the winners go forward to the semi-final and final on the same night.
“It’s a big opportunity for Mick,” said Ince.
“If he knuckles down over the next six weeks, he’s got a great chance of winning it.
“It’s an Eddie Hearn show and there are some good lads on it but Mick’s got a chance of glory. There are a couple of other local lads on the show with Jack Arnfield, who is from Blackpool and there’s Cumbria’s Liam Conroy.
“It should be quite interesting.”
Hall is naturally a light-middleweight, but Ince does not envisage his charge having any problems stepping up a weight category for the competition. If he performs well on the bill – which is being headed by Brian Rose’s WBC international light middleweight title fight against Carson Jones – Hall could then be primed for a shot at a British title.
“Mick’s stepping up to middleweight but he’s got the skills to do it and I fancy him to do well in it – if not win it,” Ince said.
“I think he’s come to a point that he needs these fights – he needs to step up.
“He’s 28 now and it’s time. Like I say it’s a great opportunity for him and if he wins it, there could be a British title shot for him down the line.”
Hall’s Prizefighter participation means his scheduled appearance at Ince’s boxing night at the Preston Guild Hall late next month is at risk.
He was due to be one of the main men on the bill alongside Shayne Singleton, Rick Skelton, Rick Godding and Mike Stafford, who are all also trained by Ince.
“The Prizefighter is two weeks before so we don’t know about Mick,” Ince said.
“He might still be fighting at Preston.”
One fight which will not be taking place is a light-heavyweight blockbuster clash between Stafford – who hails from Southport – and Preston’s Matty Clarkson.
“That fight is not going to come off but Rick Skelton will be fighting for a Central Area or Masters title and there could be one other title bout on the show,” added Ince.
If you would like tickets for the Guild Hall show on February 28, contact the ticket office or call Ince on 07971047762.