Darlington's Stuart Hall loses world boxing title

The Northern Echo: Darlington's Stuart Hall loses the IBF bantamweight title to Ellesmere Port's Paul Butler at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena Darlington's Stuart Hall loses the IBF bantamweight title to Ellesmere Port's Paul Butler at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

DARLINGTON'S first world champion Stuart Hall suffered the heartache of losing the second defence of his IBF bantamweight title to challenger Paul Butler tonight.

After a fast and furious start from 25-year-old Butler, Hall, 34, composed himself and fought his way back in style to cause a split in the judges' decision.

But after a pulsating 12 rounds at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, Hall lost the crown he won in December, defeated by a split decision after a gruelling battle with Butler.

After Ellesmere Port's Butler was awarded the contest 115-113 by one judge, Hall then heard that he had levelled things up with another judge's score of 115-113. However, despite the closeness, the third and final scorecard had Butler clearly in front by 117-111.

That meant Butler's big night had ended in glory, while Hall was left frustrated.

Hall said:  "Fair play to Paul, he is a great fighter and there is respect there from me. He was sharp. He was hard to nail down. I thought I had done enough. I just wish it was not a mandatory because we could get it on in ten weeks. But I will be back."

Butler said: "I thank Stu for giving me the oppoirtunity, he didn’t need to take this. I thought I had won the first six rounds comfortably. He came back in to it. I felt I won round 11 as well and I think Stu nicked the 12th. But I thought it was mine."

* For a full report and reaction see Monday's The Northern Echo.

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