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

Other news

Yesterday, 19:57

A busy hospital is to revamp part its emergency department to the tune of nearly £1m amid increased pressures on its services.

Yesterday, 10:11

He loves a bit of fuss and attention – and now Reg wants to show someone his cuddly side in his quest for permanent new home.

Yesterday, 08:59

Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

Yesterday, 08:19

Huge fines will be imposed on irresponsible company bosses who “line their own pockets”, the prime minister has said.

Most Read

Yesterday, 19:57

A busy hospital is to revamp part its emergency department to the tune of nearly £1m amid increased pressures on its services.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Popstar Ed Sheeran has announced his engagement to his long-term girlfriend.

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

The trial of a former soldier accused of murdering a dog walker in Norfolk woodlands has been delayed by a week and moved to a court 120 miles away.

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

A toddler has been rushed to hospital after a serious crash.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lanes on a busy roundabout will be closed overnight for three nights so that workmen can inspect drains on the road.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 5°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