The Echo Arena was shocked into silence after Liverpool’s David Price was knocked out in the second round by American Tony Thompson.
The American made his weight advantage count, delivering the final right-handed blow to send Price to the floor in front of his home crowd.
The Liverpudlian lay sprawled across the canvas but as the expectant crowd started to rediscover its voice, Price returned to his feet on referee Steve Gray’s ‘eight’ count, but the fight was not to continue. Gray called the contest off two minutes and 17 seconds into the second round, deeming Price unfit to carry on.
After the fight, a devastated Price said he will bounce back after his ‘freak’ knockout: “I haven’t taken a sustain beating, my spirit is broken a little bit because it was disappointing but some times the quicker the better in circumstances like this.
“I am still British and Commonwealth champion, I am not in a bad position. Two or three fights down the line this will be ancient history and I will be back in a position where I can talk about doing big things.
“As it stands its a knock and I’ve got to take the knock. A lot worse things can happen than getting beat in a boxing fight, its up to me to work hard and get myself back in the gym to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
David Price’s promoter Frank Maloney was resilient following his fighter’s defeat: “What can you say? It’s heavyweight boxing. One punch can change the history of heavyweight boxing, it has happened before, so I know that we can come back from it.
“I have watched the punch, he got caught on the side of the ear drum, the ear drum perforated and he totally lost his balance, it is just one of them things.”
After the press engagements Frank Maloney left the Echo Arena on a stretcher receiving oxygen. Maloney, who suffered a heart attack in 2009, was said to be conscious when leaving the building with paramedics after fainting due to low blood pressure.