Dean Mills eyes 'breakthrough year' after knocking out David Burke
David Price's second-round stoppage loss to Tony Thompson wasn't the only shock defeat in Liverpool on Saturday night.
Somerset’s Dean Mills also caused a major upset at the Echo Arena televised show by knocking out former double title holder David Burke.
The Bridgwater boxer, who trains at Cosmo Gym in Plymouth, decked the home favourite with a stunning right hook in the fourth round, after wobbling the former British and Commonwealth champion in the third round of the light-welterweight contest.
The Merseyside veteran beat the count – only to be sent to the canvas again when Mills caught him with a powerful right to the jaw.
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Mills said: “I’m over the moon and this has shown that I can mix it with the major players. Hopefully, now this can be my breakthrough year.”
Price, meanwhile, is confident he can get his world title ambitions back on track after his loss.
The Liverpool heavyweight saw his dreams derailed when the American veteran tore up the script by catching him with a punch on the ear which left Price on the canvas with his senses scrambled.
The British champion got back to his feet but was on unsteady legs when referee Steve Gray called a halt to the fight, sending the 6,000 crowd into a stunned silence.
“It’s disappointing but to be honest it’s not the end of the world,” Price said. “I’ll come back stronger and I know everyone says that, but what happened there was more of a freak than anything.
“I’m not going to be too downhearted about it, even though I’m gutted. I can’t feel sorry for myself, I’ve just got to get back to where I was. It might take a bit longer but I’ve got time.
“It’s happened to the best heavyweights over the years and with a bit of luck it might turn out to be the best thing that’s happened to me.”
Promoter Frank Maloney revealed they have the option of a rematch in Thompson’s contract. “Of course if someone beats you, you want to put it right,” Price said. “But he won the fight, let him enjoy his victory. I’m not going to start crying for a rematch.
“Frank and I will have a chat and see what’s happening and what’s best moving forward. I hope to get back on track for a world title but I’ve got to be realistic about what has just happened. It’s a big setback.”
Maloney needed treatment from paramedics after falling ill at the venue but fears that he suffered a heart attack have been allayed and he was recovering at home yesterday.
Before that, the promoter said: “We’ll sit down, talk about it and decide what to do. We have the option in the contract for a rematch if we want to take it and we’ll see what we want to do.”
Thompson gave short shrift to talk of a rematch. He said: “I’m not coming back. They vastly under-paid me for this fight and I just took it for the opportunity.
“I’ve created that opportunity and, if they want to fight me again, then first of all they’ve got to come to my side of the Atlantic and then they’ve got to pay me what I’m worth.”