Julius Francis, stopped within two rounds by Mike Tyson last month, lost his British heavyweight title to former sparring partner Mike Holden last night. Holden, who has worked as a bodyguard, bricklayer and an extra in the weekly soap opera Coronation Street, celebrated his 32nd birthday by out-pointing a lethargic Francis over 12 rounds.
Francis, 35, hit the canvas after only 243 seconds in a one-sided bout against the former undisputed champion Tyson in Manchester on the 29th January. He employed his left jab to some effect last night in the early rounds and cut Holden above his left eye but overall he looked lethargic. "Winning with one eye isn't bad is it?" said Holden. Francis said, "He's a tough fighter with a tough head but I'll get myself back in shape to fight again."