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Rediff.com  » Sports » Bruno taken to psychiatric hospital

Bruno taken to psychiatric hospital

September 23, 2003 12:25 IST

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno has been taken for treatment to a psychiatric hospital, British media reported on Monday.

According to the reports, the 41-year-old divorced father-of-three was taken from his home in Brentwood, in Essex, near London, by paramedics to a local hospital.

An Essex police spokesman said they had attended an address in Brentwood earlier in the day and helped a man to hospital.

The former champion was recently reported to have been seeking help for depression as he struggled to come to terms with life outside the ring and a divorce.

Former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan, now a TV commentator and pundit, told SkySports TV: "I think in boxing with a lot of fighters they find that retirement leaves a big, gaping hole in their lives and nothing ever replaces what it's like in the ring when you hit the dizzy heights like Frank did.

"Everything after that is very much a disappointment."

In April, Bruno, who has not fought since losing his WBC title to Mike Tyson in Las Vegas in 1996, made an application for the return of his licence, saying he wanted to take on Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison.

Bruno, who recorded 40 victories in a career spanning 45 fights, reached the pinnacle of his career in 1995 when he outpointed Oliver McCall to claim the WBC heavyweight title after failing in previous bids against Tim Witherspoon, Tyson and fellow Briton Lennox Lewis.

His prolific early career, which featured 21 consecutive knock-outs, meant he was the most talked-about British heavyweight since Henry Cooper while his jovial out-of-ring demeanour made him the darling of the British sporting public.

But in recent years he has largely faded from the spotlight, appearances in Christmas pantomimes being a traditional exception.

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