Former European super-middleweight champion Dean Francis has died at the age of 44, the British Boxing Board of Control has confirmed.
He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January 2017, and had been given just months to live.
Francis, who is survived by his wife Ghalia and son Rocco, also won English, British and Commonwealth titles during a career in which he also fought at light-heavyweight and cruiserweight.
Joe Calzaghe considered Francis, who retired four years ago, the finest British fighter to never win a world title, and the British boxing community has paid tribute to the Bristolian.
‘My family and all at Matchroom Boxing send our deepest condolences to the family of Dean Francis, a great fighter and a lovely man,’ promoter Eddie Hearn wrote on social media. ‘Rest in peace.’
Former world cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli wrote: ‘So sad to hear of the passing of Dean Francis my thought and prayers are with his family at this tough time.’
‘Such sad news,’ added former world lightweight champion Anthony Crolla. ‘A great fighter if wasn’t for injuries earlier in his career would have been a world champion for sure.’