Exclusive: Frank Bruno recalls defending WBC belt vs Mike Tyson

Frank Bruno Mike Tyson

Just six months on from his most famous victory, then WBC heavyweight champion Frank Bruno found himself back in the ring with an old enemy from the past.

No sooner had Bruno, 34 at the time, defeated Oliver McCall at Wembley Stadium to claim the sport’s most lucrative prize at the fourth attempt, the World Boxing Council had ordered the Briton to defend it against ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ – Mike Tyson.

Bruno had previously lost in brutal fashion to a unified Tyson in Las Vegas back in 1989 but had his moments early at The Hilton Center as he famously rocked ‘Iron’ Mike at the end of the first round.

The Londoner was a big underdog heading into the rematch, despite being the green belt holder, in what would turn out to be ‘Big Frank’s’ final bout and lasting just three rounds at the MGM Grand in March of 1996.

“I mean, I had to fight Mike Tyson to defend my belt so I had no choice,” Bruno exclusively told World Boxing News.

“The thing you need to remember is in that first fight I had him rocking and heavyweight boxing can be unpredictable. If a punch gets through the defence of the opponent you can unsettle him, then who knows how the fight is going to pan out.

“Would I have fought differently if I had my time again? Of course I would but Mike Tyson at that time was unstoppable and he had something to prove to everyone who doubted him after making a comeback.

“As a smaller man, Tyson was difficult to contain. Of course, I did not want to lose the title or the fight but I would like to have seen any boxer take him on in his prime and come out with the win,” he added.

A movie of Bruno’s life is currently in the pipeline, which is set to feature Tyson (or his character) in some capacity, with a Kickstarter page already set up to get the film off to a good start.

Visit the Kickstarter page here to add to the project which it’s hoped will hit the big screen in the next couple of years.