BOXING: Bruno back in the old routine

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The Independent Online
STEVE BRENKLEY

reports from Glasgow

Frank Bruno went through the usual motions. He gave a reluctant American opponent every opportunity to be swiftly reunited with kith and kin and then spent five times as long defending the man's right to have shared the same ring.

There was also the other customary business of anticipating a world heavyweight title opportunity. Here came the different bit: this time, Bruno would win.

"I'm really up for it, I can't wait," he said after Ray Evans had gone the way of a multitude of other substantial transatlantic flesh in Glasgow on Saturday night. "I'm glad I've come out of this one all right against a tricky and experienced fighter and now I can look forward."

If contracts are negotiated as planned, Bruno will fight Oliver McCall on 22 July. The venue is likely to be London although a north-east football stadium, presumably St James' Park, has also approached the promoter, Frank Warren. "I come from London, I've fought there so many times but I like the north-east people. I've always got on well there, and I think they like me," Bruno said.

Bruno was adamant that his preparations for his fourth attempt at a world title had not been undermined by the three undemanding contests of his preparation. He insisted, though his words were nowhere near as convincing as the performance which preceded them, that the hard sparring he had done against hard men was what counted.

By recent standards Bruno, heavier than before at 17st 10lbs, was taken a considerable distance as the mountainous, 19st 4lbs Evans took the proceedings into the second round. He put the retreating American down once in the first round when no count was made. He knocked him over for a seven count in the second and then finished it on the bell with a characteristic left hook, which clearly convinced Evans that he had done quite enough to get the plane home. It was the 23rd time in Bruno's 43 fights that he had won inside two rounds.

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