O'Connor makes mark despite loss on return
DEZZY O'CONNOR could not mark his comeback fight with a win but insisted a points defeat in London had cleared him of ring rust.
O'Connor said he had no complaints about losing his first paid bout in four years to unbeaten southpaw Philip Bowes at Bethnal Green's York Hall.
O'Connor's only gripe about the verdict on the six-round lightweight contest was he felt he had done better than the referee's scorecard – 60-56 – suggested.
"I thought he deserved to win it, but I felt the result should have been a bit closer," said Cosmo Gym's O'Connor, who will turn 28 later this month.
"He (Bowes) was as we expected, slippery and difficult to catch, although I started to run him down later in the bout.
"I felt my timing was a little off and missed with a couple of good shots when I'd got him cornered.
"Had they connected, then who knows – there might have been a different outcome.
"But overall, I was happy with my performance given how long I've been out and am looking forward to fighting again in mid-November."
O'Connor's camp were also pleased with their man's performance.
Cosmo Gym trainer Glyn Mitchell and manager and matchmaker Rocky Christian were both in O'Connor's corner on the Sky show on Saturday and impressed by the former Devonport ABC star's efforts.
Mitchell said: "Dezzy did very well, no question, and was certainly worth more than the points margin.
"I think he definitely won the third round and shared a couple others, but I've no real quarrel with the verdict.
"Dezzy was playing catch up after losing the first two rounds – Bowes is slippery, tall (5ft 11inch compared to 5ft 5inch O'Connor) for the weight and skilful.
"But there's plenty more to come from Dezzy and the crowd loved his box-fight style and gave him a bigger cheer than Bowes, who comes from that part of London."
O'Connor's Cosmo Gym stable-mate Ben Morrish should have also been fighting in Portsmouth on Saturday night, only for his scheduled opponent Shaun Tribble to pull out of the super featherweight affair.
But Morrish' has been rewarded with a four-round match against Ryan Collins on a world title bill in Scotland this coming weekend.
He takes on Irvine-born local hero Collins on the undercard of the Ricky Burns-Paul Stewart bill topper at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow.
Burns is defending his WBO world lightweight championship against Essex's Stewart.
"It's a good chance for Ben as he's won two from five and his opponent has won his only two pro bouts," said Christian.
"And, how many fighters do you know who have fought on a world championship card at this stage of their career?
"Not many, that's for sure."