Dean Francis nick named STAR (Speed, Timing, Accuracy and Relaxation) won the British title on the 19th July 1997 with a sixth round TKO over David Starie. In December Francis knocked Frenchman Frederic Seillier out in the ninth to win the vacant European title before successfully defending the British on the 7th March 1998, with a last round stoppage of Mark Baker. Dean fought twice more in 1998, a win and a career defining injury loss to Undra White. Dean was in total control of the fight when his right shoulder dislocated forcing him to retire in the second round. The injury forced Dean to take a four year break from the ring, leaving the title vacant.
Francis made a winning return to the ring in 2002 and challenged Matthew Barney for his now vacant old crown. Dean seemed to suffer from a recurrence of his shoulder injury and boxed the majority of the contest with one hand, even managing to floor Barney. It seemed Dean had pulled of an historic brave win but the judges disagreed with the majority of viewers giving Barney the decision on points. Two years of inactivity followed for Dean until he moved up in weight winning first the vacant English Cruiserweight title and then the Commonwealth and finally British Light-heavyweight belts. Dean defeated Portsmouth’s Tony Oakey to capture the British Title in one of the best fights of 2008 with a punishing ninth round stoppage victory in a fight that went one way then the other. Dean relinquished the British and Commonwealth titles without defending them and moved back up to Cruiserweight.
Dean featured in the 2009 Cruiserweight Prizefighter Series losing in the Semi Final to John “Buster” Keaton via second round stoppage. Chris Sanigar has always regarded Dean as the “most talented” boxer he has worked with and the shoulder injury suffered in 1998 robbed the boxing public of seeing the best of Dean Francis. Dean retired with a record on 31 wins (25 KO’s) 4 Losses and 1 Draw. In December 2012 Dean Francis made a succesful comeback with a tenth round stoppage over undefeated Welsh Champion Justyn Hugh in front of a hostile Newport to win the British Masters Title. He challenged for the British title in March 2014 and narrowly lost on points to Bob Ajisafe. Dean has since retired and now trains the professional boxers at Bristol Boxing.
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