Former heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno’s hopes of returning to the ring have been dashed after he was told his application for a licence would be declined.
The 54-year-old posted on Twitter that the British Boxing Board of Control had informed his agent that “should I apply for a licence this would not be granted”.
His agent Dave Davies confirmed the board had been in touch, saying: “Frank, like many other former sports stars, misses the good times when he was in the boxing ring and watching his son train has reignited his wish to return to the ring.
“However we have had confirmation today… that should an application for a boxing licence be received from Frank it would be declined. As agents for Frank we must respect and accept their decision.”
Bruno, who has bipolar disorder, acknowledged he had “certainly set Twitter talking” after he announced on ITV’s This Morning that he was “coming back into boxing” to help him cope with the effects of his medication.
Asked how drugs had affected him, he said: “They made me suicidal – mess up your head, mess up your clock – you can’t sleep.
“I’m walking around break-dancing I’ve got so much energy.
“I feel like superman, I’m going to the gym all the time, working hard – that’s why I’ve got to come into boxing… to get this out of my system, because I don’t want to end up in Broadmoor hospital.”
The former WBC heavyweight then repeated: “I’m coming back into boxing.”
Asked by co-presenter Phillip Schofield if the move was a good idea, he replied: “I haven’t got no choice. I train every day.
“I can’t really sit down and let these so-called promoters say that their guy beat me in two rounds – and I’m alive and I’ve got to take that.
“It’s my job, it’s my profession… you’re good at your job, I’m good at my job.”
Bruno was recently pictured training with Ricky Hatton, another former world champion.
Fans reacted to his surprise announcement with trepidation.
TV presenter Paddy McGuinness posted on Twitter: “Back in the day me & my Dad watched all Frank Bruno’s fights, we loved him. Hearing he’s planning on fighting again makes me sad.”
Commonwealth featherweight champion Josh Warrington said: “I hope his comeback is just him joking around … Don’t do it Big Frank!”, while novelist Irvine Welsh begged: “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE FRANK, DON’T DO THIS.”