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Boxing: Francis is too strong for Reid

JULIUS FRANCIS' mental fortitude carried him to a remarkable British heavyweight title win over Pele Reid in Bethnal Green on Saturday night.

The 34-year-old demolished the previously unbeaten Reid inside four rounds, fighting with an intensity and desire to match any previous holder of this coveted crown.

Francis pole-axed his opponent with a booming right in the last minute of the third and, after following up hungrily with a bombardment of hooks, referee Richie Davies intervened to spark riotous celebrations on a York Hall night to remember.

Promoter Frank Maloney, who took extra delight in beating one of Frank Warren's top prospects, roared: "I haven't felt this happy since Lennox Lewis beat Razor Ruddock."