FRANK BRUNO and Mike Tyson’s army of fans will be delighted that, despite their traumatic lives, they seem to have found peace of mind as they approach old age.
The ex-heavyweight champions, who had two ferocious fights, met up for the first time in 25 years in Miami a couple of months ago.
Former title rivals Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno met for the first time in 25 years[/caption]
Having covered their careers from the beginning to the end and spending a considerable amount of time reporting on their out-of-the-ring problems it did my heart good to see them both looking so well.
They are now in their fifties and what comes across as they shared a sofa is that — not only were they comfortable in each other’s company — but also there is a genuine warmth and respect between them.
There are exceptions but that is usually the case between fighters who have spilt blood together in brutal battles.
Mike, who used to revel in being known as the Baddest Man on the Planet, has clearly mellowed and is now more like a cuddly bear. Frank certainly hasn’t changed. He is a laidback and endearing gentle giant outside of business hours.
Anyone who knows nothing about boxing and tunes would never guess they used to ruthlessly beat men up for a living.
During their light-hearted conversation, I expected them to suddenly proudly start showing pictures of their children and grandchildren.
They hardly talked about boxing — more interested in touching on the hardships and adversity they had overcome.
NEW CUSTOMER OFFER: GET £20 IN FREE BETS WITH BETFAIR
Tyson and Bruno fought two heavyweight wars back in their heyday[/caption]
As Tyson pointed out, Frank may have been to one mental facility but he has been around ten of them.
They were reunited at Bruno’s request. Ben Hirsch, the talented director of the documentary, said: “Frank was keen to do it not just for entertainment purposes — but because there was unfinished business.
“They hadn’t had a proper chat since their second fight which ended Frank’s career.”
Most of Hirsch’s film is taken up with the background and build-up to to the fights in Las Vegas, seven years apart.
When Bruno, who was the challenger, arrived in Vegas from his Arizona training camp for the first one in 1989, he was dreadfully homesick and extremely tense.
Terry Lawless, his worried and desperate manager, knew he somehow had to get Bruno to get rid of his tension.
Secretly, he got Dr David Silverman, the famous Vegas psychiatrist who treated the showbusiness stars of the Strip, to help Frank relax.
I got to hear of it and broke the story in SunSport that Bruno was having hypnosis.
Dr Silverman even put Bruno under in the dressing room before he went out to challenge Tyson for his title.
Not that it did any good. Frank was out on his feet after Tyson’s fifth-round barrage.
Most read in Sport
In 1996, Bruno was the defending champion. Knowing what he was about to face, he crossed himself so many times during the ringwalk that I remarked that he looked like a man walking to the gallows.
He was battered to defeat in the third round.
Tyson will go down in history as one of the great world heavyweight champions.
Bruno, as popular in Britain today as in his heyday, will always be the most lovable.