Big FRANK- back on form

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Bruno hasn’t looked better in years…The former World Heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno was in the region last month and he is looking back on top form.

The household name in the British Heavyweight ladder for decades looked and sounded very positive and strong despite the setbacks he had with his marriage break up and also his publicised breakdown a few years back.

Frank had a bounce in his step, he looked at people with valour and greeted them like they were some of his closest friends.

Over the years I have been in Frank’s company while working for The Harp newspaper.

Some have been times I wished I wasn’t there to see him; at times he looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there and on one occasion whilst attending an event with Mike Tyson, Bruno fell asleep at the top table.

This was when he was in a bad place after his marriage breakup and also his televised mental break down which saw him sectioned by his close family.

When I walked into the Village Urban Resort hotel I wasn’t met with any of that past history.

Instead Frank looked very dapper, glowing like a new car in the showroom. He was different than before, when we met he instantly said hello, and asked, “How is the writing going?”

He remembered that I wrote for the sport and I was delighted to see that a different yet familiar man in front of me. However he does look thin, or should that be lean? Without the bulk of muscle that one padded out his skin, he looks slighter in frame but healthy regardless. He was slim and walking tall and proud.

This looked great for the first event by its promoters DKA Promotions. Daz Ashmore contacted me and we was more than happy to be involved. I watch Daz work the reception area of fight fans and made sure that everyone had the opportunity to meet Big Frank. The night went ahead with a three-course meal, then an auction of sports items.

Former Boxing champions such as Dublin’s Joe Egan was there. Joe is a longstanding friend of Frank’s for years. Also was 2 x Midlands Cruiserweight Champion Nigel Rafferty. Alongside these tough boxing legends was Kick-Boxing ace Kash ‘The Flash Gill. Birmingham based Kash became World champion at the young age of only 21. He was WKA World champion at Light middleweight and also at Super Middle. In total he was 4 times world kick boxing champion.

Frank was very candid about his life in boxing and was amazed how the public warmed to him. He loved boxing and hated hearing other fighters from the same camp now talk bad of Terry Lawless, Frank’s old trainer and manager.

Frank had over 20 wins before his first loss in pro boxing. He fought Tyson 2 times and also Lennox Lewis. Winning his world title against Oliver McCall was the greatest moment and one he said he will never forget.He expressed to everyone that depression was like a cancer and explained his struggle every day and some days he didn’t want to live. He spent times on the sofa and in bed not wanting to face the day.

Being a champion isn’t about giving up when the chips are down. It’s about getting the punch on the chin and getting back up. Whatever happened over the years to Frank, he has never spat his gum shield out like a child with a dummy. He has had tough times; he has cried himself to sleep and woke up the next day to do the same. That isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength to accept it and do it all again.

Time has healed the man but also changed his appearance and outlook on life. Now he lives each day as it comes. His family also understand and offer him great support. Whilst his frame maybe shrinking, his spirit is stronger by the day and it’s remarkable.

DKA held a fantastic event in Walsall and deserve very high marks for their great event.

Cannot wait to see who they bring next.