Brave Reece MacMillan came up short on the biggest night of his boxing career so far.
The 21-year-old from Morecambe jumped in a short notice to face former English champion Adam Little on the World Boxing Super Series show in Liverpool on Saturday night.
The former Skerton ABC man had won his first four contests but found the leap in experience and class too great with the Kirkham man winning via a fourth round stoppage in the light welterweight clash.
MacMillan may have tasted defeat for the first time but will take plenty of heart from a committed display in a contest that was shown on ITV4 as part of the undercard to Callum Smith’s win over Erik Skoglund.
The Westgate prospect had been scheduled to fight later in the month against journeyman Jamie Quinn but when his manager Kieran Farrell was handed the opportunity to step onto a major show at just a few days’ notice it was seen as too good an opportunity to turn down.
Despite being the underdog MacMillan had the better of the opening exchanges, putting Little on the back foot and rocking him with one combination.
The 26-year-old, looking to get back in the title hunt after defeat in his last fight in December, slowly found his range however.
Body shots and uppercuts were bringing him most success with blood coming from the Morecambe man’s nose by the end of the first round.
In the second Little continued to pick his punches well under pressure as MacMillan worked tirelessly.
He did have some success pushing Little back in the third but the quality was coming from the more experienced man.
MacMillan then had a point chalked off when his mouth piece came out for a fourth time with the Morecambe prospect hurt by a body shot late in the round.
That was to be the beginning of the end, Little sensing blood with a right-hand to the body dropping MacMillan to a knee inside the first minute of the fourth.
A right-left combination to the body then finished the contest with MacMillan down a second time, the fight waved off one minute and 29 seconds into the round.
It was a fine effort from the John Donaghy-trained fighter who dropped to 4-1 as Little improved his record to 18-2.