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Boxing hero Frank Bruno's daughters 'determined to keep him out of the ring'

Published 06/02/2016

Former boxer Frank Bruno, who was crowned world heavyweight champion in 1995, has spoken of his desire to return to the ring
Former boxer Frank Bruno, who was crowned world heavyweight champion in 1995, has spoken of his desire to return to the ring

Frank Bruno's daughters are determined the much-loved former boxing champion will never return to the ring.

Rachel and Nicola Bruno say the 54-year-old former WBC heavyweight champion, who has bipolar disorder, has become "fixated" on making a comeback and must be protected from himself.

Rachel, 29, told the Daily Mail: "When you're ill, you reminisce about the past," while Nicola, 34, said: "I don't think anyone would be silly enough to try to arrange a comeback fight."

They spoke days after Bruno, who retired in 1996 aged 34 having suffered a detached retina, announced on ITV's This Morning that he was "coming back into boxing" to help him cope with the effects of his medication.

Rachel told the Daily Mail: "I love my father and I'm so proud of him, but when he retired he'd achieved everything he set out to achieve. He's had his time. Just leave it to the youngsters. We can see that, but I'm not sure he can.

"But I'm cross with some of the people around my dad who I don't feel have his best interests at heart.

"I've told them not to book any more work for him until he's better. What he needs is rest, peace and quiet with his family and those who do know what's best for him."

Nicola said she has no interest in sport, but loved watching her father in pantomime once he ended his competitive career.

She said: "I can watch videos of Dad's old fights and they still stir up some nice memories, but I think this talk of a comeback is just one of his lightning ideas."

They feel talk of a comeback has been triggered by their 21-year-old brother Franklin's moves to take up amateur boxing.

Bruno has 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".

Earlier this week, his 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."

Bruno trains every day and has not lost the urge to box. He told This Morning that the drugs prescribed for his condition had made him feel suicidal and unable to sleep, but that he is still bursting with energy.

He was recently pictured training with former light welterweight and welterweight champion Ricky Hatton.

Bruno became the WBC heavyweight champion of the world in 1995, when he defeated Oliver McCall at Wembley Stadium. He lost the belt in his next fight to Mike Tyson in 1996, after which he retired from boxing.

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