AS IT HAPPENED - Dean Francis v Bob Ajisafe

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  • Dean Francis loses on points to Bob Ajisafe, who is crowned British light-heavyweight champion.
  • Great fight but Ajisafe had too much for the Basingstoke man, who was in trouble on several occasions.

12:11am

That's all for tonight. Shame for Francis but it was a great fight. See this week's Gazette, out on Thursday, for his reaction to it all.

Wouldn't be surprised if another retirement was on the cards.

12:09am

Just saw Francis. He's fine, but his face has come out in bruises. Not pretty but no lasting damage.

12:04am

Might be struggling to get a word with Francis tonight. He's in with the doctor at the moment, just getting his swollen eyes sorted out.

Probably won't be up for a video interview though! Not looking his best.

12:02am

11:22pm

The scores are in and it's not gone Francis' way. A unanimous decision goes in Ajisafe's favour.

Judge one had him winning 116-114, judge two 117-113 and judge three 118-112.

I'm going to see if I can grab a word with Francis.

11:20pm

BOB AJISAFE BEATS DEAN FRANCIS

11:18pm

11:18pm

11:18pm

11:17pm

ROUND 12

Francis came out swinging but got caught more than he landed. He was in trouble again near the end, hanging on after two heavy rights knocked his head back. He went the distance and it was a great fight, but I suspect Ajisafe has won this one.

11:13pm

ROUND 11

Probably another round for Ajisafe. He had Francis on the back foot and while he's not hurting him like he was earlier, they all count. Francis needs a knockout in the final round.

11:09pm

ROUND 10

An even round. Francis is letting his hands get a bit low but he connected with a couple of decent shots. I still think he's behind and might need a knockout.

11:05pm

ROUND NINE

A much more cagey round. Francis' eyes look terrible but he's seeing well enough, making Ajisafe miss. He looks like he might be tiring but Francis is behind.

11:01pm

ROUND EIGHT 

Another slugfest of a round. Francis looked in trouble when a left hand put him in his own corner and another snapped his head back. However, he came back strongly, hurting Ajisafe with a few rights late in the round.

10:57pm

ROUND SEVEN

Better from Francis. He landed a few good blows in that round and may have even nicked it. However, his punches don't seem to be hurting Ajisafe, while both of the. Basingstoke man's eyes look swollen.

10:53pm

ROUND SIX

Francis is in big trouble here. Three times in that round Ajisafe had him on the ropes after big left hands, his mouthguard coming out at one stage. He looks in a bad way.

10:49pm

ROUND FIVE

Now that's Ajisafe's round. Francis started well, shaking his opponent with a right early on. However, he was lucky to survive in the end.

Ajisafe caught him and he was pinned on the ropes. Thought it might get stopped but the bell came to his rescue.

10:44pm

ROUND FOUR

Ajisafe caught Francis early on and is causing problems with his jab. However, Francis came back later in the round.

Another one that might be too close to call. Nothing between then at the moment.

10:41pm

ROUND THREE

More action in that one. Ajisafe landed one early but Francis had him wobbling with two good rights. The Yorkshireman hit back towards the end though and Francis looked a bit shaky at one stage.

10:37pm

ROUND TWO

Another close one. Both fighters landed decent combinations early on, with Francis getting through with a straight right later on. Probably even so far.

Ajisafe is an awkward customer. He's got plenty of reach.

10:32pm

ROUND ONE

A pretty tense and even affair so far. Francis landed the best punch, a left hook early on, but Ajisafe got through with a couple of jabs.

10:28pm

The fight gets under way.

10:28pm

The referee issues his final instructions. He is Ian John Lewis.

10:28pm

Ajisafe weighed in exactly two pounds lighter at 12st 4lb 6oz.

10:27pm

Francis weighed in at 12st 6lb 6oz. A massive cheer greets his announcement.

10:26pm

The bout is scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds.

10:26pm

Francis has white shorts with gold trim. Ajisafe is in black shorts.

10:25pm

And here's Bob Ajisafe. Not so many of his supporters in tonight.

10:24pm

Dean Francis enters the ring to a rapturous reception.

10:23pm

The introductions have started and the lights have gone down.

10:22pm

The introductions have started and the lights have gone down.

10:22pm

The introductions have started and the lights have gone down.

10:20pm

Seems like there is plenty of support for Francis in the arena. Hopefully that can spur him on.

10:19pm

The master of ceremonies is out warming up the crowd. Not long to go now.

10:18pm

Francis actually retired in 2009 but after three years out of the ring, he returned in late 2012. He won three fights in six months but has been out of action since last April.

This fight was supposed to take place in Bristol back in November, but Francis had to pull out after suffering blood poisoning.

10:16pm

Ajisafe, who is from Leeds, has only had 13 fights, winning 11 and losing two, with two wins by knockout.

He's got a height advantage over Francis but that may not be an advantage. Means he's likely to lack a bit of power, something borne out by his knockout record.

10:14pm

Records-wise, Francis has won 34, drawn one and lost just four of his 39 fights, with 26 of his wins coming by knockout. He's a powerful fighter.

10:10pm

10:08pm

The fight is due to get under way at 10.20pm. Use the comment box below or #deano on Twitter to have your say.

10:07pm

Just caught a glimpse of Francis backstage. He looks lean and pumped up.

10:06pm

This fight is for the British light-heavyweight title, but it is also a quarter-final of the MaxiNutrition Knockout.

Eight British fighters are taking part, with the plan for the British and English titles to be unified in six months' time.

Howvever, things have got slightly complicated tonight. The first quarter-final has already taken place, between Southern Area champion Leon Senior and Southampton's Tony Hill.

Sadly, Hill was forced out by a cut after an accidental clash of heads in the second round, which means the fight was a draw. Francis was supposed to fight the winner, but we will have to wait to find out who that is.

10:01pm

The bout is being screened on Channel 5. Looks like they are just about to go live.

10:01pm

Francis has had a pretty incredible career, but he is now 40. Has he got what it takes to beat Ajisafe, who is 12 years his junior?

Talking to people here tonight, it seems Francis is slight favourite, but it's expected to be a close fight.

9:58pm

Click here to read a full preview of tonight's fight.

9:48pm

If Deano wins here at the Rivermead Centre, Reading, tonight, he will claim a British title belt for the third time. He won the super-middleweight belt in the 1990s before claiming the light-heavyweight title, which he is fighting for again tonight, in 2008.

9:39pm

Good evening and welcome to live round-by-round text coverage of Dean Francis' British title fight against Bob Ajisafe.

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