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North Lopham boxing author ready for round ten with upcoming release

North Lopham boxing author Ralph Oates.
North Lopham boxing author Ralph Oates.

A North Lopham boxing author is taking a trip down memory lane when he releases his tenth title later this year, chronicling the end of a 93-year wait for a British heavyweight champion.

Bob Fitzsimmons was the last British-born boxer to hold the World Championship under Queensberry Rules, until Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis arrived on the scene.

Bruno and Lewis: The Boxing Years
Bruno and Lewis: The Boxing Years

And 68-year-old author Ralph Oates, a former amateur boxer and leading historian on the sport, is hoping for a knockout blow of his own when his tenth release, Bruno and Lewis: The Boxing Years, hits the shelves later this year.

The book showcases their journey to the top of the sport, both of them claiming world crowns, while the duo also squared off in an exciting contest in Cardiff in 1993 — Lewis retaining his WBC crown on that occasion.

“I decided to write the book because at the moment, if you follow boxing, you realise in Britain its heavyweights are doing quite well in Anthony Joshua, IBF World Champion, and Tyson Fury, who was more or less undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World before his recent problems, and we are in a bit of a boom,” he said.

“I decided to go back a few years when we did not have that many good heavyweights.”

“I think if you looked at the top 12, Lewis would be among that list,” Mr Oates explained.

“Some people did not like his style, but he got the job done.

“With Frank Bruno, to be honest, I like him greatly but I do not think he will be regarded as one of the greats as he won his first world title on his fourth attempt, and lost it on his first defence against Mike Tyson.

“But he was important for British boxing, because people flocked in to see him, and people loved him. He had charisma and he drew people in.”

Mr Oates also spoke of his delight after his soon to be released title reached 11th in the boxing category of Amazon pre-orders.

n Bruno and Lewis: The Boxing Years, published by Fonthill Media, will be available from May 11 for £16.99. It is also available to pre-order from Amazon

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