Former heavyweight world champion and British fan-favourite, Frank Bruno, revealed the best fighter that he has ever stepped into the ring with after a forty-five fight career that spanned over fourteen years.
Bruno was recognised as one of the division’s most dangerous punchers during the 1980s and 90s, a time in which the heavyweight scene also contained the likes of Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis.
‘True Brit’ won his first twenty-one professional contests by stoppage before he lost to James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith in 1984, eventually retiring with an astonishing thirty-eight knockouts in his forty wins.
Despite that punch power, there was a feeling that Bruno’s day would never come in a star-studded division that was overwhelmed with contenders who would have comfortably claimed titles in other eras.
After three unsuccessful title challenges against Tim Witherspoon, Lewis and Tyson, the feeling was very much that Bruno would always be the bridesmaid, never the bride, regardless of the support he had back in Britain.
However, the Brit did finally prove his doubters wrong, outpointing Oliver McCall at Wembley Stadium to win the WBC Heavyweight Title in what turned out to be his penultimate professional outing.
In an interview with The Ring, the now 61-year-old revealed who he believes to be the best fighter he has ever faced and, whilst he had plenty of legendary heavyweights to pick from, there was only ever going to be one answer.
“[Mike] Tyson had it all, the hunger to win the belts, to fight, to move and determination to take anybody down that crossed him at his peak. He knew the quicker he could get rid of his opponent the less chance he would get caught and he was determined to get rid of his opponents quickly.”
‘Iron Mike’ defeated Bruno by knockouts on two occasions, but there was little disgrace in succumbing to the fabled power of the American phenomenon, as so many others did in that time.