2. Frank Bruno.
Perhaps the most adored fighter in British Boxing history, Frank Bruno fought his way out of a life of crime and poverty to find himself at the very pinnacle of a heavyweight division that was ruled by the fearsome Iron Mike Tyson.
Their showdown in 1989 ended in defeat for Bruno in round five, yet he was afforded a hero’s welcome upon his return to the UK due to his fearless approach during the bout, rocking the seemingly indestructible Iron Mike during the fight for the first time in his career.
Bruno’s warm hearted and caring personality shone through at various media events thereafter, as he undertook work for various charities and was always at hand for fans and supporters at any time for autographs and photo opportunities. Unashamedly he also indulged in pantomime shows as an actor, which further enhanced his everyday common man image, as we the general public took him to our hearts, whilst his touching relationship with BBC commentator Harry Carpenter reached the peak of its popularity.
He would eventually earn another shot at World Championship glory against fellow Brit Lennox Lewis in 1993, where he would agonisingly come up short once again with a devastating loss in round 7, despite leading throughout the majority of the fight.
Frank once again refused to be denied however, and on an unforgettable night on September 2nd 1995, his crowning moment finally arrived whilst being roared on in front of a jam packed partisan Wembley home crowd. With the final rounds coming to pass Bruno began to falter in the final straight, yet he was able to hang on, as the rapturous support from the stands seemingly dragged him over the line to win on points against the defending champion Oliver Mccall.
As his name was finally announced as the new World Heavyweight Champion the arena erupted into a cacophony of noise as Frank’s lifelong dream became a stark reality. It felt like a victory for us all, and it will live long in the memory as one of sport’s greatest ever moments.
In typical Frank Bruno fashion he would face Iron Mike Tyson yet again in his first and final title defence. It would ultimately be his last foray into a Boxing ring after he was advised to retire due to an eye injury suffered during the fight, losing in round three.
Frank’s huge popularity still remains intact today, due to his never say die attitude, larger than life personality, and his kind heartedness to others as he continues to work for charities tirelessly to this very day.
2 thoughts on “British Boxing’s Finest Fighters: Top Five”
Naseem was ahead of his time but got lost in his hype and thought he was unbeatable, then he got beat by Bererra, that Naz that night was not the Naz we all watched and loved before, he barely trains and he just though he had to turn up….. that was the end of him and it spiralled down hill after that, including a prison stint!
For me though,
Joe calzaghe has to be the greatest for his record, when he destroyed Jeff Lacy who was supposed to be the middleweight Mike Tyson, that was something special! Lacy never recovered from that beating and his career never went anywhere after that, Joe stole his soul that night.His autobiography is a great read! His Dad!! What a man!!!
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Thanks for the excellent comments mart….I love the part about joe Calzaghe, your passion for the sport is obvious!
Im interested to know who takes the other 3 places on your list?
Let me know. 🥊