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 BRADLEYFrank 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 WIRELennox 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 SHARKEYRalph 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 Thetford and Brandon Times 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 Thetford and Brandon Times 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 Thetford and Brandon Times 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

The region’s historic churches have been put at risk after a decision to scrap a vital Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) programme for places of worship.

Yesterday, 15:40

A mother-of-three has said she hopes to give something back to a charity which helped her during a tough period in her life.

Yesterday, 14:54

Witnesses are being sought after it is believed burglars were scared-off from property in Brandon after they heard a voice call out.

Yesterday, 14:47

They are sleek, shiny and virtually silent, and they have proven a big hit in Thetford.

Most Read

Yesterday, 15:40

A mother-of-three has said she hopes to give something back to a charity which helped her during a tough period in her life.

Read more
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A recovery driver has been jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of raping a woman he went to assist at the roadside when her car broke down.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Yesterday, 15:15

I have lived in Thetford since the age of 10, when it was an everyday thrill to run up and down Castle Hill.

Read more
Thetford
Yesterday, 14:54

Witnesses are being sought after it is believed burglars were scared-off from property in Brandon after they heard a voice call out.

Read more
Suffolk Police
Thu, 14:17

Solid gold earrings and a Hugo Boss watch were some of the items of jewellery stolen during a burglary in Thetford.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Thetford and Brandon e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter