Search

Former boxer and Norfolk author writes book about Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 February 2017

Ralph Oates from North Lopham. Picture by: SONYA DUNCAN

Ralph Oates from North Lopham. Picture by: SONYA DUNCAN

They were two titans of the sport who didn’t pull their punches, inside or outside of the ring.

Frank Bruno at a sports experience day for disabled children in Thetford in 2016. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Frank Bruno at a sports experience day for disabled children in Thetford in 2016. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And now a former boxer who lives in North Lopham, in South Norfolk, has chronicled the journey of two of the most formidable fighters in British history.

Ralph Oates’ 10th book on boxing details how Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno rose to the top of the sport.

He chose to write about the pair because of their influence on British boxing, as they were the first British heavyweight boxers to win European and world titles since Bob Fitzsimmons in the 1800s.

But Mr Oates’ book also focuses on the challenges Mr Bruno and Mr Lewis faced away from the boxing arena too, with Mr Bruno struggling with short-sightedness and Mr Lewis battling to win over fans who doubted his credentials.

Lennox Lewis. Picture: YUI MOK/PA WIRE Lennox Lewis. Picture: YUI MOK/PA WIRE

“You could say Bruno had his hardest fight without throwing a punch,” said Mr Oates, who has written several other books on the sport, articles for the British Boxing Board and acted as a boxing consultant for the Guinness Book of World Records.

“Whilst Bruno was a magnet with the fans, Lewis found it very hard.”

Mr Oates has not met the boxers in person but has seen both of them compete on several occasions, watching Mr Lewis fight on four occasions and Mr Bruno compete in six fights.

Ahead of the book’s release on May 11, it is already doing well in the online retailer Amazon’s pre-orders list for boxing books, reaching number 11 on its debut weekend.

Ralph Oates. Picture: PHILIP SHARKEY Ralph Oates. Picture: PHILIP SHARKEY

Mr Oates said he “greatly enjoyed writing the book”, entitled Bruno and Lewis: The Boxing Years, which details the two boxers’ fights from the very beginning of their careers.

He is already planning his next book on boxing, which will be a compendium on the different weight classes within the sport.

Mr Oates’ other books include The Ultimate Boxing Quiz Book, the Noble Art of Heavyweight Boxing and Boxing Clever.

Copies of his new book will be available from bookshops and at online retailers, such as Amazon.

Have you got a South Norfolk story? Email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Diss Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Diss Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Diss Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other news

11:37

A ten-year-old Dr Who fan won’t bat an eyelid at the new female Dr Who - as long as he can climb into his own dalek and exterminate.

10:12

Vulnerable young people who are exploited by London gangs to transport drugs into Norfolk should be treated as victims, rather than criminals, according to the NSPCC.

Yesterday, 15:13

A gym owner who says exercise can help mental health is calling on the community to join him in an exercise challenge to raise money for charity.

Yesterday, 12:41

Emergency services have been called to a crash on the A140 at Newton Flotman.

Most Read

Yesterday, 12:41

Emergency services have been called to a crash on the A140 at Newton Flotman.

Read more
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Treat the kids to hours of fun on flumes, inflatables and wave machines at these cool pools across the county...

Read more
Wales
11:37

A ten-year-old Dr Who fan won’t bat an eyelid at the new female Dr Who - as long as he can climb into his own dalek and exterminate.

Read more
Thursday, July 13, 2017

A popular, award-winning independent shop in a Norfolk market town could be forced to close unless a new owner is found to keep it on the high street.

Read more
Norwich
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dates to get in your diary if you don’t want to miss out on splendid leafy havens.

Read more
Norwich

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter