Promoter Dennis Hobson believes Saturday night’s (October 25) IBF world bantamweight title fight between Stuart Hall and Randy Caballero will steal the show on what is a packed weekend for televised boxing in the United Kingdom.
Darlington’s Hall and Californian Caballero meet live on Channel 5 from 8.30pm. Also on the show from Monte Carlo are middleweight fights between St. Helens’ WBC Silver champion Martin Murray and Domenico Spada, and Trowbridge’s Nick Blackwell and Belarusian dangerman Sergey Khomitsky. Programming concludes at 11pm.
It is estimated that the event on Channel 5 will reach an audience 15 times the size of the audience for the Sky Sports boxing event that same night, and 80 times the size of the audience for the boxing event on BoxNation. It is for this reason Hobson, Hall’s promoter, can barely contain his excitement.
“There are some big fights being televised in the UK this weekend, but this event from Monte Carlo steals the show,” he said. “It’s the best by some margin, and the fight between Hall and Caballero is head and shoulders above any other. It’s hard-to-call, it’s competitive and it’s for a genuine title.
“Boxing is one of the few sports in this country that actually delivers. We produce world champions. We produce some the best boxers in the world. You can’t say the same about some of the other sports out there. If anything, those sports only ever let us down. But not boxing.
“Channel 5 are the only ones who realise this and they don’t get the credit they deserve. This show on Saturday night is tremendous and deserves to be seen by the masses. I’m delighted Channel 5 have given us that opportunity.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy added: “Channel 5 have made a great statement in televising this world-class event from Monte Carlo and we’re extremely grateful for the two-and-a-half hour slot they have provided.
“Frankly, such is the quality of the card, we could have done with a five hour slot.
“This is the best fight card on British television for some time. It’s stacked from top to bottom with even money fights and the world title clash between Hall and Caballero promises to be a toe-to-toe war.”
The 34-year-old Hall, 16-3-2 (7 KOs), is a former IBF world bantamweight champion and one of the most consistently entertaining fighters in Great Britain. Tough, durable and always keen to initiate the action, Hall defeated Vusi Malinga in December 2013 to lift the IBF championship and now aims to reclaim that same belt on Saturday night.
To do so, he must overcome the considerable threat of American Randy Caballero, 21-0 (13 KOs), a highly-touted puncher known as ‘El Matador’. Ten years Hall’s junior at 24, Caballero will box for his first world title against the Englishman.
“He’s a talented kid, he’s with Golden Boy Promotions and they think he’s the next big thing,” Hobson said. “But what they’re forgetting is that he hasn’t really fought anybody yet. Stuart is a seasoned pro and has been in world title fights before. He’s had to come through the odd crisis to win. This kid hasn’t had any of that. He’s barely been hit back.
“Once Caballero starts feeling the weight of Stuart’s punches, how is he going to react? Nobody knows. But if Stuart imposes himself, this kid could be in for a torrid time.
“It’s a 50/50 fight. Caballero is a talented kid, no doubt, but he might not be ready for what he faces on Saturday night. We know what Stuart is capable of. We can’t same the same about Caballero yet.
“If you were a football manager in the nineties and you wanted a good, old-fashioned centre-forward, you’d buy Alan Shearer. If you’re looking for the equivalent in a boxing ring – someone who will give you everything and consistently perform – look no further than Stuart Hall.”
Hobson continued: “I think Caballero will try to counter, tee off and slip whatever Stuart gives him. He’ll try to break Stuart down gradually.
“But there’s going to be a lot more to it that just that. It’s going to be more than just a technical boxing match. It might end up a bit ugly and a bit physical. And you can’t train for that kind of fight. We’ll see how Caballero copes with it.
“Even though Stuart is a notoriously slow starter, he won’t be starting slow on Saturday. He has learnt from his mistakes and he has improved as a result. Stuart has never been better than he is right now.”