Comeback attempt by Bruno, 54, rebuffed by UK board

LONDON • Former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno's unexpected bid for a return to boxing was dashed on Monday after he was told his application for a licence would be declined.

The Briton, who has not fought since being knocked out by Mike Tyson in 1996, had made the surprise announcement that he wanted to mount a comeback to help cope with the effects of the medication he takes for bipolar disorder.

"They made me suicidal - mess up your head, mess up your clock - you can't sleep," he said of the medication during an ITV interview.

"I'm walking around break-dancing, I've got so much energy. I feel like Superman, I'm going to the gym all the time, working hard - that's why I've got to come into boxing... to get this out of my system."

Presenter Phillip Schofield questioned whether it was sensible to return to the sport.

Bruno responded: "Is that a good idea? I haven't got no choice. I train every day."

He said he objected to being challenged by younger boxers, saying he did not want to be "mugged off" when he was still fit and well.

"I can't sit down and let these so-called promoters say (current British heavyweight champion) Anthony Joshua can knock me out in two rounds when I'm not even dead."

But hours later, the 54-year-old Briton, who made his professional debut in 1982 and won the World Boxing Council heavyweight title against Oliver McCall in 1995, posted on Twitter that the British Boxing Board of Control had informed his agent that "should I apply for a licence this would not be granted".

Bruno's agent Dave Davies confirmed the board had been in touch, saying: "Frank, like many other former sports stars, misses the good times when he was in the boxing ring and watching his son train has reignited his wish to return to the ring.

"However, we have had confirmation today that should an application for a boxing licence be received from Frank it would be declined.

"As agents for Frank, we must respect and accept their decision."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'Comeback attempt by Bruno, 54, rebuffed by UK board'. Print Edition | Subscribe