Stuart Hall: IBF rematch with Martin Ward unlikely

IBF world bantamweight champion Stuart Hall has played down the prospects of an early rematch with Martin Ward.

The 34-year-old retained his title via a technical draw after just two rounds of last weekend's fight in Newcastle.

A return to orthodox

Stuart Hall last three opponents have all been southpaws - Sergio Perales, Vusi Malinga and Martin Ward.

His next fight is likely to be against either Randy Caballero or Kohei Oba, who are both orthodox left-hand-lead fighters.

An accidental clash of heads cut Ward's right eye and the referee was soon forced to halt the bout.

"If they fix his eye really quick, I'd be up for a rematch in the North East, but the trouble is I've got a mandatory defence in June," Hall told BBC Tees.

"So we've just got to see what happens really. I was gutted for him, well, actually, more for the crowd - I'm happy to still have my belt."

The fight was Darlington boxer Hall's first since beating Vusi Malinga to end the North East's 25-year wait for a world champion.

And after Saturday's anticlimactic showdown with Ward, from Durham, Hall must meet whoever the IBF puts in front of him, by 7 June.

His next challenger is expected to be the winner of this Friday's bout between Randy Caballero and Kohei Oba in Japan.

"Martin's eye was really bad, stopping was the right call," Hall admitted.

"What happened was disappointing for all the people watching, but at least there's still a North East world champion."