Although we all hate the politics of boxing sometimes they do lead us to some sensational contests. One such bout came earlier this evening as the IBF's decision to strip Jamie McDonnell of their IBF Bantamweight title lead us to about between Stuart Hall (16-2-1, 7) and Vusi Malinga (21-5-1, 12) for the vacant title.
Hall, fighting in his first world title fight, set off at a hectic pace using his speed and skills to land on Malinga and move out of the way of return fire to make Malinga look second rate. The tempo was amazing with from Hall who clearly took the first 2 rounds and then claimed the round 3 with a knockdown to have a clear lead built on the cards after just 3 rounds.
It wasn't until the end of round 4 that Malinga first had any real success as he arguably claimed his first round, though it was a swing round that could easily have gone to Hall. Through the middle rounds Malinga started to come back in to the fight and arguably claimed rounds 5,6,7, 8 and 9 as he made a great charge in an attempt to defeat Hall. Not only was Malinga pushing on but Hall appeared to be tiring quickly and his left eye was beginning to swell shut. By the end of round 9 the left eye of Hall was was swollen shut and he was beginning to to eat right hands almost at will.
Despite looking shattered Hall managed to get his second win and appeared to make a late charge taking the championship rounds with Malinga himself looking exhausted. Those rounds effectively sealed the fight for Hall who had dug in and done enough for the biggest victory of his career.
The performance, of both men had been excellent, the fight had great with action from both men, and unfortunately the one sour taste were the judges whose cards of 117-110 (twice) and 116-111 didn't fairly reflect the nature of the bout. They did get the right winner but their cards didn't show just how hard Malinga had made things for him.