IBF world bantamweight champion Stuart Hall is writing an exclusive diary for The Northern Echo in the build up to the defence of his title against Martin Ward at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on Saturday, March 29
FIVE miles in 32 minutes will do for me. I’ve just got back from another run, pounding the streets, running along the bypass and back in, with my heart-rate monitor and my headphones on, listening to music.
It’s all part of the preparations. I felt a bit heavy at the start of my run, probably because of the sparring I was doing on Sunday. But when I got back and had a look at my heart-rate it put my mind at rest. I’m ready. There’s no two ways about it.
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Every day that goes by I am getting more and more excited for this fight and I feel I am super fit. I just want to get in there and show Martin Ward what I can do. He won’t have been in the ring with anyone like me before.
My trainer, Michael Marsden, put me in to spar with a couple of lads from Hull-way the other day. They were a couple of southpaws, a bit like Martin Ward, to get me in to that way of thinking.
At the end they said I was like a steam train coming at them and that was good to hear because it means my schedule is going well.
It helps you realise just how well your preparations are going. Everything I have been doing I’m happy with, it’s all about being ready for 11 rounds, sitting down and going again in between.
MUSIC is a big thing for me in my preparations. Whenever I’m out running I have my phone with me, getting me in the mood and to stay focused.
What I listen to probably goes back to the five summers I spent in Ibiza when I was younger. I like deep house music, dance music, something to get you going and it’s ideal for running to.
When I was in Ibiza, dancing a lot more than I would now, I would see every DJ there, even the likes of Faithless. The best DJs around go to Ibiza and that’s probably where I get my musical taste from. That’s why I have what I have on my phone.
That’s not what I have walked out to before, though. When I beat Vusi Malinga in Leeds in December for the IBF bantamweight belt I walked out to Titanium. That was more to do with the lyrics because I’m bulletproof. Nothing will stop me.
MARTIN Ward clearly thinks he is going to be able to stop me, but I just want to get him out of the way, leave him wondering what has hit him, and move on to bigger fights.
I don’t think he actually knows how hard I am. I didn’t even know how hard I was until I came out of 12 rounds with Vusi Malinga. He could have hit me with a hammer that night and I would not have gone down. That’s what Martin Ward has to be ready for.
THE fight is going to be special on a massive night of boxing for the North-East – and I can’t wait.
I’ve recently heard that Paul McCloskey has pulled out of his fight with Bradley Saunders, which is a huge blow because that would have been the perfect fight for Bradley.
Bradley Saunders is a top fight and he deserves the top fights. It’s still going to be an exceptional night of boxing but it is a shame that McCloskey will no longer be on the show. Those are the fights Bradley needs now because he is ready for the big stage.
Newcastle is going to be the big stage and I just to be in the ring with Martin Ward now. I can’t wait.