Exclusive: However unlikely, Frank Bruno would get full license application process from MBC – VP

Phil Jay 02/02/2016

Hatton Boxing

Former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno would be given the same consideration as any other fighter when applying for a license to box, according to Malta Boxing Commission Vice President Gianluca Di Caro.

Bruno, 54, has announced his intention to return to the ring twenty years on from his last bout against Mike Tyson, although has already been turned down by the British Boxing Board of Control.

That may not be the end of it for the veteran Londoner though as when asked by WBN to give his views on the matter, Di Caro stated that the British great would not be turned away and has the right to go through the relevant process before a final decision is made.

Di Caro has also revealed that an inquiry has already been received by the MBC regarding possible sanctioning of Bruno, which stretches back to the end of last summer and way before his recent TV revelation.

“About six months ago, we were approached by a coach that was training Frank. He told us that Frank wants to box again and he explained that Frank is in exceptional shape – whilst not quite as sharp as in his heyday he wasn’t that far off,” Di Caro exclusively told World Boxing News.

“He made a tentative enquiry that if Frank decided to apply for a pro license again what would his chances be.

“I explained that in my personal opinion it is probably unlikely, but at the end of the day it is not my decision.

“As when anyone applies for an MBC license out of respect we always go through the full process, which in the case of someone over forty is much more rigorous, medical wise.”

See section 5 and 6 of the MBC Boxers Medical Requirements below:


1. Blood Work: HIV (must be drawn within 30 days of submitting all requirements to become licensed), Hepatitis B Surface Antigen, and Hepatitis C Antibody (Hepatitis B & C blood work can be drawn within the calendar year).

2. Physical: Must be administered by a licensed M.D. or D.O. and is good for one calendar year.

3. Eye Exam: Must submit a dilated ophthalmological exam administered by a licensed ophthalmologist. This exam is valid for one calendar year.

4. Radiological Exams: Must submit an MRI or MRA of the brain without contrast on an annual basis.

5. Older Fighters: Professional boxers who will turn 36 during this calendar year, or is 36 and over must submit a comprehensive physical exam administered by a licensed M.D. or D.O., an EKG, Chest X-Ray, Urinalysis, and additional blood work including: CBC, Chemistry Panel containing Electrolytes, Creatinine, and Liver Function.

6. Additional Requirements: For professional boxers who has not fought a professional fight in the last 36 months, has fought over 425 professional rounds and is not under suspension in another state or country need to submit a comprehensive physical exam administered by a licensed M.D. or D.O., an EKG, Chest X-Ray, Urinalysis, and additional blood work including: CBC, Chemistry Panel containing Electrolytes, Creatinine, and Liver Function.

Di Caro continued: “In addition, and due to Frank’s highly publicized bipolar condition, we would require access to his medical history so the MBC medical panel, both in the UK and Malta, can assess his current medical condition.

“If the medical panel cannot find any reason why we should not issue a license this would then be passed to the MBC Stewards to make their decision. They would make their decision based on several factors, such as age, if previously licensed, their boxing record and number of times they were stopped or KO’d as well as obvious fitness.

“They would also require written assessments by both his coach as well as an independent assessment, with regard to his current boxing abilities. As such, only after these processes are successfully undertaken would it be passed to myself and our chairman to make the final decision on whether to license or not.”

As Bruno looks in tremendous shape for a man of his age, being passed physically for a potential four-round bout, whether exhibition or not, doesn’t seem to be too much in question.

It’s the mental issues that have dogged Bruno since retirement that would be the biggest hurdles to overcome, something Di Caro is fully aware could make all the difference in giving any final approval.

“I would like to make my views on the matter of Frank being bipolar, mainly due to the many misleading postings on social media by people that have no understanding of the illness and secondly on how it affects someone within combat sports.

“I know of many current and former professional boxers, including championship level boxers, that are bipolar, however am sure that there are far more than I know of as well as many that haven’t been diagnosed. The big problem for Frank is that knowledge and evidence of this is in the public domain.

“I would like to stress here that the boxers I am talking about are not licensed by the MBC, however in each case if they applied for an MBC license they would almost certainly be accepted as there is no reason not to if they pass their medicals, including MRI scans.

“Finally, I also said to the coach that should Frank not be able to be licensed, whether by the MBC or another organization, but would like to be more involved in the running of the sport we would be honoured to offer him an official role within the MBC.

“For reference, this is not just because he is a Frank Bruno but something we offer any boxer, champion or not, and I’m proud that a number of ex-boxers have taken us up on this.

“I’d also like to point out that Frank hasn’t made an application to us for a license at this time.”

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