by James Slater – 25-year-old former Commonwealth light-middleweight champion Matthew Hall has announced how he has left long-time trainer Brian Hughes. Considering retiring from the sport altogether after his recent 8th-round stoppage loss at the hands of Anthony Small in their British and Commonwealth showdown, Hall instead decided he will carry on but with a new trainer..
After having been with the knowledgeable and extremely well respected Hughes since the age of just 14, Hall has expressed his immense gratitude and he has acknowledged that it was his first trainer who made him the fighter he is today. There are reportedly no ill feelings between the two men. However, as has been reported in The Manchester Evening News, Hall, 22-2(15) feels he needs a change now that he is to continue with his still promising career.
Two defeats do not necessarily signal the end of a career, even though Hall, by his own admission, was devastated after being rescued by the referee in the 8th-round against the trash-talking and cocky Small. And now the fighter known as “El Torito” will work with trainer Karl Ince as he attempts to get back to the form that saw him destroy big-punching Welshman Bradley Pryce in March of this year (the fight in which Hall won the Commonwealth title).
Hall spoke to Manchester Evening News, and after first paying his respects to the trainer he has moved away from, the 25-year-old admitted he was embarrassed by his showing against Small on July 18th.
“I was embarrassed by my performance. Anyone who knows me could see that I was flat,” Hall told the newspaper. “I trained for fourteen weeks and maybe I over-trained because walking into the ring I felt flat. I was winning after six rounds, but I got tired. He wasn’t hurting me – I was just tired and I never get tired.
“I was going to retire [from the sport]. To train that long and perform like that on the night was not good enough and I expect better from myself. But there are no excuses. I lost to the better man on the night.”
There has not yet been a definite date announced for Hall’s return fight, which will be his first with new trainer Ince, but October has been mentioned. Ince recently took over from Enzo Calzaghe while attempting to help rebuild Enzo Maccarinelli’s career. Hall is sure he can bounce back from his second career setback.
“If I didn’t think I could be the best, I wouldn’t do it,” Hall said. “When I lost my first fight (to Martin Conception back in 2007) I shouldn’t have even been in the ring because of health problems. This was my first proper defeat so I’ve got to go back to the drawing board and change a few things. I know I can perform much better than that.”
Still young enough at 25, Hall, an exciting fighter who can bang, should not be written off yet.