Preston middleweight Mick Hall has revealed his forthcoming contest for the Central Area title in Wigan in December is his last chance to redeem himself from drink and drugs.Advertisement
Hall, who has lost just once in 15 paid outings, faces current belt holder, Barnsley’s Matthew Mallin, on December 10 at the DW Stadium.
The demise of former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who lives in Morecambe and is regularly seen out frequenting Preston’s hostelries, has been well documented.
By contrast, Hall, 30, a personal trainer at Larches and Savick gym, feels revitalised.
He has promised a standout performance to prove – not only to himself, but also his family and friends – that he has what it takes to reach the top in a sport where the lack of discipline he has shown in the past can often be severely punished.
The former Prizefighter quarter-finalist admitted that, despite still winning, he had only been ‘playing’ at the sport in recent years and hadn’t come close to fulfilling his full potential.
Read more: How Larches and Savick gym is proving a hit
Following a change of management, to Neil Marsh, a shift in focus and a renewed belief in his own ability however, Hall has shown better form of late. Next month, he said, will be proof of that improvement.
“The Central Area title may not mean that much to some, but for me, it’s my world title,” he said. “I’m not going to waste the chance of winning it and moving my career on towards
where it should really be.”
In a brutally honest assessment of both his own ability and actions, Hall also revealed a strong sense that he had squandered his talent, alienating many in the process.
He said: “It’s no secret I’ve had problems outside the ring. I’ve been stupid with drugs and drink and, to a certain extent, I’ve wasted a year or two really. When I turned pro a lot of people believed in me and thought I’d go far but, even though I’ve only lost the once to Jack Arnfield, I feel I should have done more.
“Since the fight was announced I’ve been focused on it 100 per cent. Working with my trainer Alan Levene, everyone at his gym and all his contacts, including Dr George Wilson at Liverpool John Moores University, a leading sports scientist, I’ve found a new focus.
“I love training now. I love going the gym. Everyone works hard, really hard. I can see the improvements I’m making day after day. I feel stronger, fitter and I’m hitting harder than ever. I feel like a new man, I really do. I’m not going to waste this chance. I’m looking forward to it and, once I’ve won it, I’ll look forward to, and plan for, bigger and better fights in future.”
A decent amateur who was unlucky enough to meet the likes of Liam Smith and Hosea Burton in the regional ABAs, Hall turned pro in 2009.
A former pro who faced problems of his own outside the ring during his own professional career in the 1990s, Levene said: “Mick has always had great potential. Everyone knew it but, even though he was still winning, he just didn’t transfer this into actions outside the ring where, if you want to do anything as a pro, you have to be professional and disciplined at all times.
“I’ve been there myself though. I know what it’s like.
“I’ve been able to use my own experiences, plus his undoubted ability, to help Mick regain the confidence and optimism he once had and focus it on winning.”
Hall will appear on a bill that will also feature Liverpool’s world ranked Robbie Davies Jnr, Liverpool’s Joe Wood, Blackpool heavyweight Bill Hodgson and Kirkham’s Adam Little in a British title eliminator.