Revealed: Tyson reunited with Bruno

James Dielhenn

Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn

“Frank Bruno wanted to close this chapter of his life. He was really keen to catch up with Mike Tyson to talk,” says the director; Bruno v Tyson is released on February 26 on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV

Last Updated: 27/01/21 6:15am

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Bruno v Tyson explores the highs and lows of Frank Bruno’s rivalry with Mike Tyson and reunites the legendary boxers
Bruno v Tyson explores the highs and lows of Frank Bruno’s rivalry with Mike Tyson and reunites the legendary boxers

Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno were like “old friends” when they reunited and had “a very natural, honest conversation” for a new Sky Documentaries film, says the director.

‘Bruno v Tyson’, released February 26 on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV, focuses on the fascinating relationship between the boxers as well as the two heavyweight title fights that they shared.

The theme throughout the documentary is of Tyson, who won both of their fights, “haunting” Bruno – and this also provided them with the desire to reunite 31 years after first trading punches.

Tyson twice knocked out Bruno
Tyson twice knocked out Bruno

“Frank was keen to do the documentary not just for entertainment purposes, but because there was unfinished business,” said Ben Hirsch, the director.

“They hadn’t had a proper chat since their second fight. Tyson ended Frank’s career.

“Frank wanted to close this chapter of his life. He was really keen to catch up with Tyson to talk.

“It was like two old friends – they were completely natural with each other.

“Because they were talking to each other, they opened up more honestly. I think they both see themselves in the other.

“For the majority of their chat we just sat back and let them talk. It’s their story, they know it best.

“They had a very natural, honest conversation.”

Tyson and Bruno reunited to film a new Sky Documentaries special
Tyson and Bruno reunited to film a new Sky Documentaries special

Tyson won their first fight via fifth-round stoppage in 1989 in Las Vegas.

The popular Brit Bruno would need four opportunities before finally becoming world heavyweight champion.

In his final fight, in 1996, he again faced Tyson who won inside three rounds.

“Their relationship went back to when they were teenagers when they sparred together,” explained Hirsch.

“They had a mutual respect because they had similar upbringings.

“We kept uncovering more and more footage of how their lives intertwined. My favourite part was Tyson receiving an award and Bruno is brought onto the show – he doesn’t really serve any purpose.

“It was a period in Bruno’s life where he wasn’t boxing anymore and had got into pantomime. Tyson was saying: ‘I hear you sing now, Frank?’

“You get the sense that Tyson is goading Bruno. Watching it back now, it felt quite cruel.

“Their lives overlapped and intertwined.”

Bruno poses with a cardboard cut-out of Tyson
Bruno poses with a cardboard cut-out of Tyson

The theme of Bruno finally achieving his dream but never being able to defeat Tyson is at the heart of a documentary that transcends boxing.

“This isn’t just for boxing fans. It’s a story that people can relate to,” said Hirsch.

“It was Bruno’s dream to be world heavyweight champion and he dedicated his life to it, but the recurring theme is that Tyson was in his way.

“It is relatable even to people who aren’t sports fans.”

Bruno v Tyson is A Sky Original available on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV from 9pm on Friday February 26.

Source : Sky Sports