Boxing: Heavyweight hype begins in earnest

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

LENNOX LEWIS and Frank Bruno came within jabbing distance yesterday and the verbal punches flew 70 yards from where the real action will happen in the early hours of 2 October. Lewis will receive pounds 2.4 million, Bruno more than pounds 650,000 for the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship bout.

Hype is commonplace in big-time boxing, but there seemed genuine feeling when the heavyweights met face-to-face at Cardiff Arms Park. The WBC champion Lewis said after walking on the most sacred piece of turf in Welsh rugby: 'I felt the atmosphere, it's what you need for boxing. I can't wait for the fight when Frank Bruno is going to be looking up at the sky.'

Bruno hit back: 'I've got respect for Lennox, I've got respect for every boxer who's got the courage to get into the ring.

'On the 2nd, I won't have one ounce of respect for him. He's said nasty things about me which have affected my mum, my wife and kids, so I can't wait for this fight to happen.'

There will be more, much more verbal fisticuffs before the pair climb into the ring for Britain's biggest, richest fight.