Frank Bruno Knockouts – Best of Big Frank (Tribute)

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Frank Bruno was born Franklin Roy Bruno on November 16th 1961 in London, England. He was immensely popular and one of the most well loved fighters in the rich history of British Boxing just like Henry Cooper in the 1950s and 1960s. Bruno had enormous punching power and has one of the highest knockout percentages in the history of the sport; with 38 kayos out of 40 wins which gives him a 95% knockout ratio.

As an amateur, he compiled a record of 20-1 and won the ABA Heavyweight Championship in 1980.

On March 17th 1982, Bruno made his highly anticipated pro debut with a first round stoppage over Lupe Guerra. He went on to compile an impressive string of 20 wins (all by stoppages) before taking on future WBA Heavyweight Champion James “Bonecrusher” Smith.

Bruno was on his way to winning a points decision but was stopped with less than 2 minutes left to the final bell.

After being dealt with his first professional loss, he rebounded with 4 straight wins before winning the European Heavyweight Title via KO4 over Anders Eklund and 2 more wins later, he would earn his first world title opportunity against WBA Heavyweight Champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon on July 19th 1986.

Big Frank was putting up a good fight against Witherspoon for 10 rounds but was stopped in the 11th from a number of overhand rights.

Between March to October 1987, Bruno picked up 4 wins notably over Joe Bugner and acquired a shot against the undefeated Iron Mike Tyson who was the IBF, WBA, WBC & Lineal Heavyweight Champion.

Bruno was able to wobble Tyson in the first round with a left hook right hand combo but ultimately stopped in the 5th from Iron Mike’s continuous assault.

Although he lost the fight, he gained tremendous respect particularly with the British public as he was the first man to have really hurt Tyson at that point of his career.

Once again, he came back strong despite having lost his second world title opportunity; scoring 4 wins between November 1991 and April 1993 to earn another shot; this time against fellow Brit and WBC Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis on October 1st 1993.

It was the first time that 2 British born fighters collided for the World Heavyweight Title fight.

Both fighters fought at near even terms for 6 rounds until Lewis caught him with a sneaky leaping left hook that turned Bruno’s legs into jelly, and unleashed a vicious barrage of punishment on the ropes which prompted referee Mickey Vann to step in and save Bruno.

Despite having suffered 3 setbacks in world title fights, Big Frank proved he had fighting heart as huge as his punching power and went on to score 3 more wins to secure his fourth and perhaps last chance for Heavyweight Gold.

On September 2nd 1995, in a fight billed as ”The Empire Strikes Back” Bruno took on WBC Heavyweight Champion Oliver McCall who shockingly upset then unbeaten Lennox Lewis a year earlier to lift the WBC Heavyweight Title.

From the opening bell, Bruno was in better control of the bout and ahead in the scorecards after the 10th frame but was in danger of being stopped by the iron chinned, hard punching McCall during the last 2 rounds. But Bruno was determined not to let the title slip out of his hands again and made it to the final bell.

After 36 minutes of boxing, Bruno was crowned the new WBC Heavyweight Champion via UD12 and became the third British born boxer to win a world heavyweight title. The first 2 were Bob Fitzsimmons and Lennox Lewis.

However, Bruno was the first and only Brit to have achieved it in British soil.

For his first title defense (and last career bout), he took on Iron Mike in a rematch 6 years after their first encounter where he was stopped in 3 one sided rounds and relieved of his WBC Crown.

After a 14 year pro career, he racked up a final record of 40(38)-5 with 13 first round knockouts and 31 of his 40 wins took place within 4 rounds or less which testifies the extent of his punching power.

He had notable victories over Scott LeDoux, Joe Bugner, Carl Williams, Jose Ribalta, Pierre Coetzer, Gerrie Coetzee, James Tillis & Oliver McCall.

It also should be noted all 5 of his losses were against top oppositions in James Smith, Tim Witherspoon, Lennox Lewis & Mike Tyson (2x).

Please enjoy this compilation of Big Frank’s knockouts and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE for more boxing goodness. Muchas gracias and keep punching!

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