Paul Butler defeats Stuart Hall to win IBF world bantamweight title

New IBF World bantamweight champion Paul Butler

Paul Butler became the new IBF world bantamweight champion after defeating Stuart Hall on points at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

In a thrilling fight, Butler was given the verdict on a split decision.

Two judges scored it 117-111 and 115-113 for the Ellesmere Port fighter, while one gave it to Hall, 115-113.

Butler, a former British and Commonwealth super-flyweight champion, was fighting at 118lb for the second time and improves his record to 16-0.

The 25-year-old, who was tipped to win by two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton, dominated the early exchanges in the all-British contest.

Hall, 34, came on strong as the fight progressed, but the younger man's speed allowed him to pepper the Darlington man with combinations.

Butler was coming off a fourth-round knockout of Argentina's Oreste Bernabe Nieva in March.

Hall had won the IBF crown in dramatic style when he defeated South African Vusi Malinga last December. It was hailed as one of the performances of 2013 by a British boxer.