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Malinga desperate to overcome Hall in world title shot
6:00am Tuesday 17th December 2013 in Sport
VUSI MALINGA has vowed to follow in the footsteps of his uncle by defeating Darlington's Stuart Hall to claim a world title on Saturday night.
Hailing from a famous fighting dynasty, South Africa’s Malinga remembers back in 1996 when Sugar Boy Malinga - Vusi's uncle - took on the Dark Destroyer Nigel Benn in Newcastle and came away with the Londoner’s WBC super-middleweight belt.
This Saturday, at Leeds' First Direct Arena, Malinga clashes with Hall for the vacant IBF world bantamweight crown. And, after two previous failed attempts at world honours, the 34-year-old has revealed how vital victory is to him.
“It’s very important that I win,” said Malinga. “I have to win this fight for my father, my family and for everyone back in South Africa.
“Hall’s a come-forward fighter, who throws lots of punches. I’m expecting a tough fight; if he comes to fight then I’ll fight him and if he boxes then I’ll box.
“Any type of fight, I’m prepared for him. It’s all about mind-sets, my mind is well and I’m prepared for everything.”
Malinga’s two earlier shots at boxing’s top prize both came outside his homeland.
In 2009, he fought in Japan against Hozumi Hasegawa for the WBC crown but was knocked out in a round. Three years later, this time in America, the Guateng native came unstuck against huge-hitting Mexican Leo Santa Cruz, losing on points.
With a full house expected in Leeds and the vast majority of support certain to be in Hall’s favour, Malinga is promising he won’t be affected by the cauldron of noise.
The wily veteran, with just four defeats in 26 fights, believes his greater ring-knowledge will come into play and that his previous travels will stand him in good stead for the win.
“It won’t affect me at all,” explained Malinga. “I’m used to fighting in other countries, like Japan and America, so it’s no problem to fight over here.
“I’m very sure I’ll win. I’ve prepared myself well; I’m very fit and I’m very confident that I’m going to take the title away with me.”
The undercard will include Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin defending his Commonwealth welterweight title; Bradford’s Femi Fehintola versus Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes; Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey; Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor; Leeds’ China Clarke and Steven Mennell; Doncaster’s Dave Allen; Cheshunt's Ashley Sexton, and Wales’ Lewis Rees.
* For information about return coach travel from Darlington for just £10 please contact Lynsey Lockey on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07557 553512.
For ticket information call 0844 248 1585 or visit www.firstdirectarena.com Tickets are also available via Ticketmaster on 0844 844 0444 or via www.ticketmaster.co.uk Follow Dennis Hobson Promotions on Twitter @Dennis_Hobson, on Facebook, or via www.dennishobson.com
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