Frank Bruno looked more like a weightlifter but couldn’t withstand the speed and skills of Mike Tyson. Twice they fought, twice the American beat the Briton. Tyson beat Bruno at a time the United Kingdom thought she had got her best-ever boxer.
Frankly, Bruno was good, he could not just stand the powers of Tyson whose persona was so domineering in the late eighties. Tyson made Bruno look like one of “Mummy’s Boys” from London.
The streets of New York are more turbulent than that of London. It breeds real “Ajepako”. Here, on the streets, the likes of Tyson and Riddick Bowe grew up.
Tyson was a pickpocket who was later introduced to burglary by the big guys. These behaviours landed him in jail where he got the chance to refine the skills that would later turn him into an Olympic Gold medalist
As he put it in one of his numerous interviews, “I beat many of those I fought while on the streets and also got beaten by some guys.” A few of Tyson’s gangs rot in jail but fate smiled at him when Cus D’Amato found and trained him to stardom.
Then was a Lennox Lewis, the best ever to come from Britain. He was born of Canadian parents in the United Kingdom but had to learn his skills in Canada, right on American soil.
There he cut his tail to become a fiery boxer. He represented Canada in Olympics but chose England for his professional career. One thing distinguished Lewis from a typical British boxer. He learnt his trade from the real guys at the boxing slaughterhouse, the US.
He was not loved by his people for beating Bruno, his compatriot, and the pride of Britain at the time. But the lion is so good, he conquered the world, becoming and still sitting on the undisputed heavyweight record. We are waiting for the next one in this era.
It may sound disputable, most Britons want Anthony Joshua’s face more than that of Tyson Fury. The current WBC heavyweight champion is gradually winning the hearts of the British boxing fans following his classical performances against American Deontay Wilder.
However, he is yet to win the Queen’s heart. The royal family does not pretend to love AnthonyJoshua even though the guy has let the British down twice now.
The royal circle loves this “Ajebutter” Nigerian guy but Femi has not been impressive lately. He is touring America at present searching for a better coach. Mike Tyson has volunteered to train Joshua as the former undisputed champion prepares to fight Oleksandr Usyk again.
KUNLE AWOSIYAN is a Lagos based journalist