Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno starred in ‘The Battle of Britain’ in 1993, but the two have more in common than that.
The stoppage in the seventh round that night saw Lewis retain his WBC world title, continuing his path to eventual undisputed status.
The two big hitters are both in the heavyweight history books for their efforts in the sport, and have plenty of stories to tell as to the opposition they faced to get there.
Speaking in a feature with The Ring Magazine, ‘The Lion’ named Oliver McCall – one of two men to beat him – as the man with the best chin in the game.
“Oliver McCall. There is no doubt. He was Mike Tyson’s sparring partner for years and had ‘cracking’ reflexes.”
In a separate interview within the same series, Bruno also praised ‘The Atomic Bull’s ability to withstand power punches.
“He never got put down or knocked out as far as I know. I hit him with a few and he stayed up; a tough guy. I just could not understand how he took some of my punches without a minor flinch.”
The most significant moment in McCall’s 75-fight career was that upset victory over Lewis. The second round knockout was one of the biggest shocks in the sport’s history – although one Lewis would reverse in the rematch.
The American’s one encounter with Bruno was a unanimous decision loss – just one of two wins that Bruno didn’t achieve by knockout.
McCall – from Chicago – was never knocked down in his campaign, even in the TKO loss to Lewis in their second fight.
Instead, he refused to engage in the fight and forced referee Mills Lane to call a halt to it. The sad scenes saw the heavyweight crying in the ring. He would later be sent to a psychiatric hospital.
The 58-year-old had forty more pro bouts when he was deemed fighting fit, hanging up his well-seasoned gloves for good in 2019 with a record of 59-14 with 38 knockouts.