Lennox Lewis vs. Frank Bruno
|Date||October 1, 1993|
|Title(s) on the line||WBC Heavyweight Championship|
|Lennox Lewis vs. Frank Bruno|
|Tale of the tape|
|London, England||From||London, England|
|23-0 (19 KO)||Pre-fight record||36-3 (35 KO)|
|Result||Lewis won by a Technical Knockout in Round 7|
Lennox Lewis vs. Frank Bruno, also known as the Battle of Britain, was a boxing match that took place on 1 October 1993, at the National Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales. It was between WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who was making the second defence of his title and Frank Bruno, who was fighting in his third world title bout, his two previous title fights were unsuccessful. Lewis beat Bruno by a technical knockout in the seventh round.
Lennox Lewis had won the WBC heavyweight title when Riddick Bowe refused to fight him, so the WBC gave Lewis the title on January 14, 1993. Lewis had previously been the WBCs number one contender by defeating Razor Ruddock. Lewis then became the first British world heavyweight champion since Bob Fitzsimmons lost the title on 9 June 1899. Lewis went on to defend his title by defeating Tony Tucker and Phil Jackson.
Frank Bruno had previously lost to Tim Witherspoon on 19 July 1986 for the World Boxing Associations (WBA) Heavyweight title at the old Wembley Stadium and to Mike Tyson on 25 February 1989 for the WBA, WBC, and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titles at the Las Vegas Hilton.
The fight was the first time that two British-born boxers had fought for the world heavyweight title, although Bruno had questioned how British Lewis really was, as he had won a gold medal for Canada at the 1988 Olympic Games as an amateur. Bruno described Lewis as "...not British", but said "It's about boxing. I'm sick and tired of his pretenses. He calls himself champion. He acts like he's a Sugar Ray Leonard or a Willie Pep or a Joe Louis", and that "Nobody cares about Lennox Lewis in Britain."
To counter the Bruno claim that he was "not British", Lewis said, "What was I supposed to do? Not follow my mother to Canada?", "Look, I've fought more British fighters than that guy has. He makes a fool of himself, dressing up in girls' clothing on television". Lewis called Bruno an "Uncle Tom".
Bruno weighed in at 238 pounds (108 kg), and Lewis at 229 pounds (104 kg).
The fight was staged at the now demolished National Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park, which was used primarily as a rugby union stadium by the Welsh Rugby Union. In total 25,784 spectators watched the fight. The Referee for the fight was Mickey Vann from Britain and the Judges were Tony Castellano and Jerry Roth, both from the USA and Adrian Morgan from Britain.
Bruno took the fight to Lewis, but Lewis won the first round. Bruno then went on the offensive and took the second round, with Lewis trying to use his left jab to win points. Bruno hit Lewis on the right of his head in the third round, which shook him. Lewis later said that "It didn't hurt me", but the punch concentrated Lewis' efforts on the job in hand. At the end of the sixth round, both Castellano and Roth had the fight level at 57–57, with Morgan scoring the fight 59–55 in favour of Bruno. At the start of the seventh round Bruno hit Lewis with a left jab and continued with a series of short punches. Lewis said "He thought he had me... but actually I just lost my footing. I saw every punch coming". Lewis then hit Bruno with a looping left hook which staggered him, and continued with a series of head punches. Lewis said "I saw him drop his right hand and just came out with my left hook". In a momentary break during the onslaught, Lewis was warned by Vann for stiff-arming with his left hand. Upon resuming Lewis finished off Bruno, who was by then staggering on unsteady legs and completely unable to defend himself. Vann stopped the fight one minute and twelve seconds into the seventh round.
Lewis said after the fight "Bruno did his homework and kept me from throwing my right hand early... but he must have forgotten I have a terrific left hook. I said to myself, 'I'm going to let him see my hook'". Bruno's manager, Mickey Duff, said "Frank (Bruno) has no chin... once he gets hit clean on the button, he goes".
The undercard of the main fight was made up of Joe Calzaghe making his first professional fight in front of barely 300 spectators. Calzaghe would later become the undefeated WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring Magazine and British super middleweight champion.
- Neil Haddock (Wales) beat John T Williams (Wales) by points in a 10 round contest
- Neil Swain (Wales) beat Rowan Williams (England) by points in a 6 round contest
- Joe Calzaghe (Wales) beat Paul Hanlon (England) by a technical knockout in round 1 of a 4 round contest
- Ross Hale (England) beat Carlos Chase (England) by a technical knockout in round 8
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