Who’ll ever forget Frank Bruno? Possibly one of the most likable boxers of all time and as this week shows, he’s still keeping in fighting shape.
Frank Bruno has been training at the Hatton boxing gym this week in Manchester with another one of the UK’s most loved fighters of all time, Ricky Hatton.
Pictures posted by Ricky online show Frank to still be taking his training as serious as ever conditioning-wise.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that this writer was a kid growing up watching Bruno’s fights and dogidly determined quest to become world champion.
A few fights that stick out in my memory and some watched that ignited my love of the sweet science as a kid, were the two fights Bruno had with Tyson, the Lennox Lewis fight and of course his world title win against American Oliver McCall at Wembley stadium.
It was a professional career that spanned 14 years in total, that saw the big hitting Bruno accumulate a respectable record of 40-5-38KO, but it was the up and down nature of the journey, and his endearing personality that perhaps made Bruno so popular with the fans.
A real people’s champion.
I guess everyone loves a rags to riches story, they’re just cool anecdotes, but perhaps the best stories (for me at least) are the comeback ones, the tales where people go through rough times in their lives or mess things up, only to turn it all around and emerge the better for their experiences.
Bruno ticks the boxers on both of the above in my opinion.
In the ring, he came up short in heavyweight title bids three times over a significant period of time (Tim Witherspoon in 1986, Mike Tyson in 1989 and Lennox Lewis in 1993) before finally winning the WBC heavyweight title against Oliver McCall in 1995.
It was a long, emotional and often draining journey for the public (god only knows what it must have been like for Frank) who so desperately wanted to see one of the good guys go all the way to the top in his chosen profession.
But to me, looking back on it, it represents the almost super human determination, motivation and will power that all great champions have.
Bruno was not to be denied.
Outside of the ring after his career finished Frank sadly went through some difficult times in his personal life that hurt him, and culminated in him been sectioned at one point under the mental health act in the UK and diagnosed with manic depression.
But in true Bruno fighting spirit, he’s made a comeback in that area of his life too.
In recent years in interviews I’ve seen with him and photos online, he looks as happy and physically fit as ever and at the age of 54, could probably still give one or two domestic level heavyweights a run for their money – particularly with that big right hand cross he had (the power never goes as they say!).
Here’s a brilliant video tribute to Frank Bruno, a boxer and man who’s drive still inspires people to this day (hat tip to Chris Tomkinson for the upload):
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