Darlington boxer Stuart Hall left with a blank weekend after Isaac Nettey bout is called off (From The Northern Echo)
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Darlington boxer Stuart Hall left with a blank weekend after Isaac Nettey bout is called off
STUART HALL'S Commonwealth title defence in Darlington has been cancelled, but the hometown boxer is hopeful he can find another fight at short notice.
Hall was due to face Ghana's Isaac Nettey at the Dolphin Centre on Saturday night, but his challenger pulled out of the fight owing to visa difficulties, with not enough time to find a suitable replacement.
As a result, and despite healthy ticket sales, promoter Dennis Hobson pulled the whole card - with fellow Darlington man Neil Hepper, Spennymoor's Ben Jackson, Rainton's Taylor Ward, Middlesbrough's Shafiq Asif and Paul Truscott, and Newcastle's Mark Clauzel all finding themselves with nothing to do on Saturday night.
However, Hall is keeping himself in shape on the off-chance match-maker Mick Marsden is able to add him to another card this month.
"Mick could have got me an opponent but I would have blasted him out in two rounds," explained the Darlington boxer, who hinted that Marsden is looking at the Amir Khan fight in Sheffield this month as a possibility.
"That's not fair on the paying public. It's a good venue and for the next one we want to keep it right. I'm absolutely devastated. I'm in the best shape of my life."
Hall, who beat Josh Wale at the Dolphin Centre in November, paid tribute to his sponsors Bellwood Generators, admitting that if not for sponsorship he would be struggling to make ends meet.
"If it wasn't for him I couldn't carry on," said Hall, 32.
"All that money for training, I'd be wounded, It's a load of money, I'm not getting paid but my sponsor is helping me keep my head above water.
"I've been a pro for nearly four years and only recently took a sponsor on, so it's times like this it really comes in handy. I'm not working, I'm relying on the boxing."
Hobson expressed his disappointment at the cancellation, accusing Nettey's camp of messing him around.
"I'm devastated for the boxers and the fans," said the Sheffield-based promoter.
"The show was obviously based around Stuart, but his opponent had been messing us about since we've been putting the card together.
"We did a deal but they wanted more money, and then they wanted to change the date. In the end, we've been waiting for their medicals and visas but they haven't got them back in time.
"We'll definitely be back in the North East soon; there's some really good talent up there and I want to play a part in developing it.
"Again, apologies to people that have bought tickets and were looking forward to the show; refunds will be available from the original source."