Bob Ajisafe defeats Dean Francis to win British title
In the first quarter finals of the MaxiNutrition Knockout mini-tournament, Bob Ajisafe defeated veteran Dean Francis on points in a competitive fight and with it win the vacant British light heavyweight title on Saturday night at Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading.
The Leeds man showed the quicker hands from the outset and built up an early lead as he continually frustrated Francis's attempts to get to work on the inside.
Ajisafe had his man backed up on the ropes as the bell went to end the fifth and it was a similar story in the next as Francis's right eye started to swell.
Francis took plenty of clean shots throughout but fought back gamely each time, giving the referee little chance to end it early despite the often one-sided nature of the action.
Each of the judges scored in favour of the awkward southpaw, although scores of 118-112 and 116-114 twice scarcely reflected his superiority.
The night's other 'quarter-final' of the tournament, Leon Senior's fight with Tony Hill was aborted after two rounds when an accidental clash of heads left Hill with a badly gashed forehead.
Where it leaves their place in the eight-man knockout remains to be seen, with promoter Mick Hennessy intending to have it wrapped up inside six months.
Next weekend in Sheffield sees Travis Dickinson take on Danny McIntosh for the English title while Lee Duncan and Matty Clarkson clash for the Central Area strap.