Malinga wants to pay tribute to Mandela by defeating Hall

VUSI MALINGA has sent his condolences to his homeland and  insisted the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela will spur him on to victory when he challenges Stuart Hall for the IBF world bantamweight title on December 21.

Malinga, currently training in Manchester under the tutelage of Lee Beard, faces Darlington’s Hall at Leeds’ First Direct Arena in what will be his third attempt at winning a world crown.

And the Gauteng man says the memory of Mandela will inspire him to succeed. “I was devastated when I heard the news,” said the 34-year-old.

"Everybody knows what a great man Mandela was but for me, as a South African, this news has hit very hard.

“I want to turn this into a positive though and will win this world title for Nelson and my country. I know this is going to be a hard fight, and Stuart Hall is a very good boxer, but I hope that by becoming a world champion I can help South Africa to feel just a little better.

“Mandela also used to box and I know that he will be cheering me on.”

The undercard on December 21 will include Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin defending his Commonwealth welterweight title.

Bradford’s Femi Fehintola will take on Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes. There will also be outings for Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey, Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor, Leeds’ China Clarke and Steven Mennell, Doncaster’s Dave Allen, Wales’ Lewis Rees, Chorley’s Jack Catterall,  Manchester-based American Adrian Gonzales and Birmingham’s Joe Costello.

* Stuart Hall v Vusi Malinga is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/ Virgin Ch. 546) on December 21. Join now at www.boxnation.com

For ticket information call 0844 248 1585 or 0844 844 0444 or visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk

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