Stuey Hall still Champion
Stuart Hall retained his British bantamweight title in front of his home fans with a 10th round stoppage of brave challenger Martin Power on Friday in County Durham.

Entering the ring to the buoyant sounds of a live saxophone instrumental, Hall looked in fine shape and ready to take up where he had left off, when he had stopped Power in 8 rounds last year.

Power, who is never in a bad fight, had jumped at this rematch opportunity when offered it and was hell bent on gaining revenge over Hall and winning back a title he himself held back in 2006, and hoping to keep the Lonsdale belt out-right if he had won, but Hall was in no mood to hand the belt back to Power.

Darlington man Hall, started the fight like a champion who had more fights than his record suggested, and with this just his 10th pro outing, looked to have come of age as he began to take control of the fight from the first bell.

Keeping Power on the end of a his tidy jab from a tight defence, Hall was able to claim centre ring and dictate the pace of the fight from the outside, and although Power dug deep and gave his all, he never looked like nudging Hall who had settled into the contest quickly and never lost his momentum after taking the first round.

Londoner Power, found it increasingly difficult to get into range without being hit by the jab of Hall’s and with occasional lunges trying to get inside Hall’s work, Power looked to be running out of ideas early, but the former champion from Camden Town never loses his will and battled back hard.

Trapping Hall on the ropes seemed to be Powers best option and succeed in doing so in the 3rd round, only for Hall to respond with some nice right hands straight down the pipe, which stopped the on coming Power who was trying to set the pace in his usual high tempo strategy.

Hall was in total concentration mode though and tucked up well during the contest whenever Power let go with his hooks to body and head, and in the 4th round pounced on Power who was staggered from a good combination, looking like the ref was about to step in, Power came back with his own shots, but as the bell to end the round sounded it was a case of being saved by it  for Power.

At the start of the 5th, Power’s head seemed to had cleared, but he was back on the end of Hall’s jab again, Hall was content to box and bide his time and not rush in after having the challenger hurt in the previous round, a few good right hands stunned Power again, but Hall was back behind a neat defence and Power was having to force his own work too much whilst trying to find any success. Hall was shaken again at the end of the round and trudged back to his corner looking worse for wear.

With Shear guts and bravery keeping Power in the fight now, he was still looking to get inside and on occasions had success with his hooks to the body, but Hall was refusing to take chances and stuck to his game plan soaking up what Hall had to give and coming back with the quality work.

Hall continued to beat Power to the punch and the damaging shots began to come in the form of chopping left and right hooks, and some stiffening uppercuts that in turn stiffened the legs of Power, who managed to finished the round with his own flurry of punches, but the writing looked on the North East wall for Power now.

A big uppercut from Hall at the start of the 8th set the tempo again, but Power had seemed to have searched the second wind department for some air and really gave it a go, has the champion seemed to be having a round breather. This was Hall’s first time past eight rounds and with Power renowned for coming on strong later in fights bit hard on his gumsheild and arguably won the 8th round.

The previous session now seemed mearly a blip on the Hall fight plan, when in the 9th round he was again back in control of the fight has he started to throw more punches, good left hooks and uppercuts had Power short on ideas of attack again, and only a fighter with Powers heart and bravery would still have been in there has he fought back with pride intact.

Powers dogged, never say die attitude had kept him in the fight upto the 10th round, but here it was to be Hall’s finer skills and accurate punching that was to bring a finish to this superb end of season fight.

The finish finally came at the end of the 10th, when Hall stepped cleverly around a tired Power to land a huge left hook, followed by a crunching right, left combination and the referee had seen enough, to the arguments of Powers corner, but on reflection I’m sure they will see it was perfectly timed.

This was unbeaten Hall’s ninth victory from 10 fights while Power suffered the sixth defeat of a 27-fight career.

On the undercard
Tony Jeffries public workout
Jeffries back to the draw-ing board

Another local fighter, 2006 commonwealth Bronze medalist Tony Jeffries drew his eighth professional fight 77-77 against Michael Banbula in an awful contest  that never lived upto the hype the pro Jeffries crowd had reved up prior, in support of the local Mackem man.

In a scrappy fight from start to finish, Jeffries looked short of ideas as he ineffectively leaned in with his shots, almost at times pushing his jab at Banbula, who continued to make him fall short throughout the fight.
Jeffries, 25, was cut above the left eye in the second round and seemed hindered by it throughout as the experienced Banbula proved to be an awkward opponent giving Jeffries all kinds of problems he just didn’t solve.
Banbula had the better of the final three rounds and Jeffries just about held on for a draw, because for the last two rounds he looked like he didn’t have anything left, and was read the riot act by trainer Bobby Rimmer to dig in at the end.
For some reason Jeffries had mis-judged the length of the fight believing that it was just a six rounder, when infact it was an eight round contest, as reported by British boxers earlier, when we had quoted Jeffries saying,
“It’s a massive step, It’s only a year-and-a-half ago I was fighting four two-minute rounds, now I’m boxing eight three-minute rounds. It’ll be great.” said Jeffries.
So how the mistake was made is anybodies guess, but it is an embarrassing situation for Jeffries who was lucky to claim the draw.
Jeffries will need to evaluate his situation on the boxing ladder and if he needed a short sharp shot to get his promising career in serious mode, then Banbula who is no more than a journey man fighter, has given him just that!

“I thought I won it even though I fought terrible,” Jeffries told Sky Sports after the fight. “I pulled a muscle in my bicep two weeks ago and only trained for six rounds.

“I was told it was a six-round fight beforehand and couldn’t believe it when they asked me to do another two.

“It was the first time I’ve been cut in a fight, and it was dripping into my eye and blurring my vision.

“I need to work on my stamina and I need to make sure I can go eight rounds.” added Jeffries.

Also on the undercard
Nigel Wright won the vacant English light-welterweight title with a win over Dean Harrison,  but had to climb off the canvas in the seventh round after a peach of a left hook from Harrison. Apart from the knockdown, Wright did enough to take the fight and the title in the end winning the fight by scores of 98-92, 98-92 and 97-93 on the judges scorecards.

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