By Terence Dooley
Channel 5's involvement with boxing continues despite leading light Tyson Fury landing himself a BoxNation deal. The terrestrial TV network will broadcast Bob Ajisafe's vacant British light-heavyweight title fight against Dean Francis, which takes place at the Rivermeade Leisure Centre, Reading on March 15th.
Mick Hennessy of Hennessy Sports promotes the fight between the Leeds's "Braveheart" and Francis, who hails from Basingstoke.
Francis was hot property down at Super middleweight in the 1990s only for injuries to curtail his promising career. A mid-2000s Indian Summer culminated in Commonwealth light-heavyweight title title wins over Ovill McKenzie (TKO 1) and Michael Gbenga (W12) followed by a British title win over Tony Oakey in 2008.
However, injuries again hampered his progress, a comeback in 2009 yielded a draw with Joey Vegas and a stunning first-round upset loss to John Keeton in 2009's Prizefighter: The Cruiserweights tournament. A run of three wins in 2012/13, Justyn Hugh (W TKO 10 for the British Masters 175lb title), Attila Tibor Nagy and Arturs Kulikauskis (both W6) have brought the 40-year-old another British title shot.
Ajisafe's dropped a decision to Tony Bellew for the Commonwealth title in 2010, but has since registered three wins — Darren Stubbs (W TKO 3 for the English light-heavyweight title in 2011), Travis Dickinson (W12, a title defence) and Carl Wild (W4 in 2013) — to earn a crack at the belt vacated by Tony Bellew. The 11-2 (3) 28-year-old has less experience than Francis, 34-4-1 (26), but he will hope that his awkward style will prove too much for the older man come fight night.
Tags: British Boxing