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Julius Francis
"The physical pain will go away, but my pride is hurt"
 real 28k

Sports correspondent Kevin Gearey
"It was the one-sided mismatch that everybody said it would be"
 real 28k

Boxing correspondent John Rawling
"Francis was outpunched and outclassed"
 real 28k

Sunday, 30 January, 2000, 09:18 GMT
Tyson wastes little time

Francis (right) could not cope with Tyson's power


Mike Tyson took just four minutes to emerge victorious from his first appearance on British soil.

British champion Julius Francis lasted until the second round, but not beyond the 243rd second of the fight in Manchester.

After all the pre-match comment about whether the former world heavyweight champion should have been allowed into the UK, Tyson let his fists do the talking.

Tyson
Tysonís fight for the right
The Life of Iron Mike
The challenger: Julius Francis
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Francis simply could not cope with the American's performance and was knocked down four times before referee Roy Francis stopped the bout in front of the sell-out crowd.

Just 58 seconds of the second round had elapsed before the fight was over by technical knockout.

Most of the 21,000 in attendance were not surprised by the Briton's rapid demise, having paid up to £500 for what the majority probably expected to be less than three minutes of action.

Some had produced even more cash than that, with touted tickets selling for hundreds of pounds outside the MEN Arena.

A huge security cordon was thrown around the venue and, unusually for boxing, most of the seats were taken over an hour before the scheduled main event.

Before it started MC Mike Goodall spent some time introducing the galaxy of stars at ringside.


Tyson stands over Francis as the referee brings an end to proceedings
They included Manchester United stars Dwight Yorke and David Beckham with the latter's Spice Girl wife Victoria, supermodel Elle McPherson and reigning WBO world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.

Francis came in to the ring with a showbiz entrance he can never have received in previous fights in front of 1,000 people at places like Bethnal Green.

The Briton was flanked by 11 members of the British Army from the military base in Aldershot, where he has trained.

He emerged into the ring from behind a giant Union Flag, and accompanied by cheers and loud music.

Tyson's appearance was his usual low key affair, with the controversial former champion dressed traditionally all in black and emerging to the simple sound of a siren and hip hop music, along with some boos from the crowd.

English referee Francis was introduced to the fans before both fighters, and he insisted on the pair shaking hands, something they did reluctantly.

Attack and counter-attack

Within seconds of the bell Tyson was straight onto the attack, with the Briton unconvinvingly trying to fight fire with fire.


Tyson showed glimpses of his old self
Tyson threw two wild left hooks which missed their target, then unloaded a right and left to the body which temporarily knocked Francis back.

Francis bravely tried to use his one-and-a-half-stone weight advantage but it was the huge favourite who made the cleaner blows.

Tyson decked Francis with a right and the British champion clambered to his feet at the count of nine.

Francis came back bravely but was caught again, this time by a straight left, right on the bell.

Again the Briton survived the count, making it to the end of the first round against the expectations of many pundits.


A familiar sight in Manchester
The second began with Francis again floundering as he tried to counter-attack the former champion.

Francis went down in the ropes after an early flurry.

Another right upper cut followed by a left then put him down for an eight count.

Time was clearly running out for the Briton, and when he went to the canvas shortly afterwards referee Francis decided that his namesake had taken enough punishment.

Tyson was hoisted high by his entourage, but showed no emotion over his predictably easy victory.

Francis was actually booed by many fans as he made his way back to the dressing room.

But the limited Briton had given the fight all that he had, which was predictably nowhere near enough.

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See also:
30 Jan 00 |  Sport
Tyson gives thanks but few clues
30 Jan 00 |  Sport
Picture gallery: Tyson floors Francis
30 Jan 00 |  Sport
Tyson v Francis: Punch by punch
29 Jan 00 |  Sport
Calzaghe disappoints in victory
28 Jan 00 |  Sport
Tyson v Francis: Full statistical breakdown
28 Jan 00 |  Sport
Tyson smirks at 'fat' Francis
20 Jan 00 |  Sport
Tyson's fight for the right
18 Jan 00 |  UK
Team Tyson: Iron Mike's minions
29 Jan 00 |  Sport
Countdown to Tyson fight

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