SUNDERLAND’S Kirk Goodings has thanked opponent Dean Mills for putting up such a good fight at the Stadium of Light.
The two met at the Summer Rumble boxing show at the weekend and Goodings won their battle in the fifth round.
But not before the Somerset boxer had asked questions of Goodings with quick hands, positive punching and aggressive style.
Goodings had told the Echo before the show that he wanted to impress Sunderland fight fans on what was the first time since his debut in 2009 that he had fought in the city.
And he certainly did that with an all-action battle which ended with a brutal stoppage of Mills on the ropes.
Goodings said: “It was a good fight and it was just what I wanted because I want to entertain and I want to be exciting and I thought that’s exactly what the fight was.
“In my last fight at the Rainton Meadows Arena, my opponent was cagey and crafty and although I got the job done it wasn’t the greatest fight in the world.
“But Mills was different altogether, he came to fight, and because of that it was a good bout. It was explosive.
“He’s a dangerous fighter and he caused a surprise in his last fight with a knockout, so I knew I had to take him seriously.
“But I felt good when I got into my stride and found him with a lot of shots.”
Having dispatched Mills to improve his record to won nine, lost one, the Nookside light-welterweight is now after a title fight as he looks to take the next step in his career.
The 24-year-old said: “My manager Phil Jeffries and trainer Sean Casey both say that that’s what we have to look at next.
“And Phil is going to write a letter to the British Boxing Board of Control hoping to get a title fight as soon as possible.”