Frank Bruno, 59, reveals he ‘hit rock bottom’ and was sectioned during lockdown after family raised concerns over excessive fitness training as he tried to stage boxing comeback
- Frank Bruno, 59, has revealed he was sectioned for six weeks during lockdown
- The former world heavyweight champion stayed at the Luton and Central Bedfordshire Hospital
- He said he ‘hit rock bottom’ and felt like a prisoner in his own home in lockdown
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno has admitted he was sanctioned during the coronavirus lockdown under the Mental Health Act.
Bruno, 59, said that the loss of friends due to the virus as well as the national lockdown compounded and resulted in him having a breakdown.
The former boxing star was taken by the police to Luton and Central Bedfordshire Hospital mental health unit on June 28, 2020, and remained there for a period of six weeks after fears grew over his safety, The Sun reports.
Speaking to the publication, Frank said: ‘It has been the hardest and most terrifying time of my life. I hit rock bottom and suffered a breakdown.
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno (file image) has admitted he was sanctioned during the coronavirus lockdown under the Mental Health Act
‘For my own safety and for the safety of others, I was sectioned and taken back into hospital. I had to face up to the fact my illness had returned after years of keeping a lid on it. I had to fight for my sanity and there were times I feared I wouldn’t get through it.’
Bruno also said that being forced to stay at home under the lockdown felt ten times scarier than entering the ring for a boxing match.
He said that all of the routine and structure in his life vanished when the lockdown was implemented, resulting in him feeling like a prisoner in his own home.
However, friends and family began to worry for his safety after he began training excessively in the gym – with the intention of arranging boxing matches.
Additionally, Bruno called his agent asking for £60,000 to be transferred in order for him to buy a car worth just a third of that value.
Following his stint in hospital, Bruno is now on medication – and he is set to reveal more extended details about his battle in a book out next month, titled Frank Bruno: 60 Years A Fighter.
Bruno competed between 1982 and 1996 as a professional boxer and was crowned the WBC heavyweight champion in 1995 after defeating Oliver McCall.
And last month marked the 25th anniversary of Bruno rising to the pinnacle of his sport, bursting with pride at Wembley Stadium after defeating Oliver McCall to be crowned heavyweight champion of the world.
It was the fourth time lucky for Bruno, who faced adversity head on and was determined to be labelled the best, regardless of how many times it took.
Throughout his glittering career, Bruno faced off against some of boxing’s biggest names, including Mike Tyson in 1989 and 1996 and Lennox Lewis in 1993.
Pictured: Frank Bruno takes on Mike Tyson on February 25, 1989, in Las Vegas for the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles
The match against Lewis was the first time in history that two British boxers had gone head-to-head to compete for the world heavyweight title.
Bruno retired not long after claiming his world heavyweight crown against McCall.
Part of the agreement for the fight meant he was contractually obliged to face Mike Tyson, who beat him after three rounds.
Tyson inflicted a serious eye injury on Bruno, with medical professionals advising he should not fight again, otherwise he would run the risk of making the injury worse.
Recording 40 wins in his career, Bruno achieved 38 knockouts – giving him a 95 per cent knockout-win ratio.
He was also regularly ranked among the top 10 fighters in the world during his career, reaching a peak of world number three in 1984.
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