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Frank Bruno, up close and personal - a knockout at Basingstoke

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An Evening with Frank Bruno at the Anvil, Basingstoke, on Thursday, November 18 Report by LIAM HEADD

Frank Bruno delivered a knockout performance at The Haymarket theatre in Basingstoke in front of a strong crowd.

The former WBC heavyweight champion of the world opened up about some of his historic bouts with some of the greatest performers to ever grace the ring.

Frank Bruno
Frank Bruno

Bruno, who recently turned 60, answered questions by comedian Jed Stone, before getting involved in what the audience in Basingstoke wanted to know.

Starting the night off, the former heavyweight opened up on his childhood and how he was the youngest of six children.

He explained how challenging his education was at Oak Hill, Sussex, where he was expelled, before taking up boxing at the age of nine.

Frank Bruno and Jed Stone on stage, picture Liam Headd
Frank Bruno and Jed Stone on stage, picture Liam Headd

After becoming a professional boxer in 1981, Bruno achieved 21 consecutive wins by knockout and he received a huge ovation from the crowd for that achievement.

The former boxer spoke about one of his biggest tests during his career, his bout with Floyd ‘Jumbo’ Cummings in October 1983.

Cummings connected with a right jab on Bruno in the opening round and almost took the victory, but the British fighter bounced back to win in the seventh round.

Further battles came his way and so did five defeats, including two against Mike Tyson and one against Lennox Lewis.

It was his willingness to continue as a boxer which saw him win the WBC title in 1985 when he beat Oliver McCall, before then losing it a year later in his final bout against Tyson and then retiring after sustaining an eye injury.

Bruno explained that he needed to stay involved in the sport and active in the gym once he finished fight and it led him to talk about the Frank Bruno Foundation – a charity he has set up to help those suffering with mental health problems.

He opened up about the issues he faced after his professional career and how he overcame those to become a better person.

The former champion answered questions on his biggest fights, best performances and the current era of boxing and wowed the audience with his honesty throughout.

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