Bruno's bout of fighting talk

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The Independent Online

Frank Bruno has come out fighting, even though he does not enter the ring with Mike Tyson to defend his World Council heavyweight title until 16 March.

He went on the offensive at Tuesday's news conference at the fight venue, the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Angered by the actions of Tyson's entourage during their first pre-fight conference together, Bruno questioned whether Tyson had learned anything while serving a three-year prison sentence for rape.

"I thought prison was supposed to wise you up and make you a better man," said Bruno, who has complete six weeks' training in the Canary Islands. "He's getting worse, to be honest, both in the ring and out of the ring."

Bruno, who lost to Tyson on a fifth-round knock-out when the two met seven years ago, was clearly irritated after being heckled by members of Tyson's entourage during proceedings. He refrained from getting involved in a shouting match, but later criticised Tyson for his group's actions.

"The way these people go on is not good for boxing,"Bruno said . "I'm here to bring a little class to the sport."

Bruno was the only one doing much talking, with Tyson making little effort to answer even the most basic questions before bringing the conference to an abrupt close by getting up to leave."I'm just confident in what I'm capable of doing," the former heavyweight champion said in a typical response.

About the only time Tyson came close to revealing anything about the fight was when he predicted he would beat Bruno. He said: "It's interesting Mr Bruno is talking very brave and courageous. We'll see."

Long after Tyson left the room, Bruno was still holding court, eager to talk about the first defence of the title he won from Oliver McCall.

"Now is payback time. Now is the time for revenge," Bruno said. "I can't wait to get my hands on him, and I'm not saying that to sell tickets because I don't get any percentage. I'm talking out of my heart."

He is receiving about pounds 4m to fight Tyson, with the challenger said to be on pounds 20m.