The stakes are sky-high for Preston boxer Mick Hall when he contests an eliminator for the English middleweight title in front of his home fans at the Guild Hall this evening.
His manager Neil Marsh is confident his man will overcome Matthew Mallin, of Barnsley, but warned: “Mick knows that it is possibly his last chance.
“Mick knows he is better than this and if he turns up, he will beat Mallin.”
It will be Hall’s first fight since being stopped in the 11th round by Blackpool’s Jack Arnfield at the venue in January after he suffered a hideous-looking swelling above his eye.
Marsh, who promotes the fight, said of that experience: “It was a big prize – Arnfield was ranked highly in the world and it was an opportunity Mick had to take.
“I would have loved to have given Mick an eight-rounder before that, but a fight on ITV in your own home town doesn’t come round every week for these fighters.
“Though Mick did get beaten by a better man, he has improved for the experience.” Hall concurred, saying: “I learned a lot from that fight and the injury was not as bad as it looked – I am going to take into the Mallin fight what I learned against Arnfield.
“Mallin is an experienced campaigner, but I have had the better level of opposition – I have fought lads with winning records all the way through my career.”
Included on the undercard is Kirkham heavyweight Bill Hodgson, who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Czech southpaw Tomas Mrazek.
Hodgson looked impressively ripped at the weigh-in at 225 pounds.
His manager Marsh said: “Bill is now an athletic heavyweight, instead of a slugger.
“It is a step-up in opponent, a tricky southpaw and very experienced, but I expect Bill will be knocking on the door for titles in six months’ time.
“Alan Levene has done a great job training him. We have given him a lot of learning fights because of his lack of experience.
“We have not rushed Bill and he is now ready for a crack at something.”