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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tyson Beats Bruno, Regains Title Belt

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno gave impressive displays of their former selves in their heavyweight championship fight:


Tyson bobbed and weaved to get inside on a taller man to deploy deadly hooks and uppercuts, and Bruno again quickly wilted under the onslaught of a tough opponent Saturday night.


But Bruno added a relatively new twist this time, desperately clutching and grabbing in order to fend off what appeared to be inevitable from the very start to the nearly 17,000 fans in the arena at the MGM Grand and even to himself.


It was a tactic the Briton tried with success in winning the World Boxing Council title last September from Oliver McCall.


The 34-year-old Briton steadfastly refused to use his jab, and it seemed he never threw more than two consecutive punches without holding onto Tyson.


Tyson finally ended the agony of the British pretender to the throne by stopping him at 50 seconds of the third round to grab the WBC crown.


It was Tyson's third fight since being released from prison last March, and it was by far the former undisputed champion's best performance.


He moved his head like the Tyson of old, making an elusive target, as he bore through to his opponent. Tyson also threw many more jabs than he had against Peter McNeeley last August and Buster Mathis Jr. in December.


It actually took Tyson longer to stop the light-hitting, pudgy Mathis than it did to dispatch the 34-year-old Bruno.


Late in the first round, Bruno hit Tyson with a right uppercut that shocked the former undisputed champion of the world, and the two men were slugging away as the bell sounded to end the round.


Between rounds, Bruno's cornerman attempted to stop the bleeding from a cut left eyelid.


Referee Mills Lane took a point away from Bruno for holding in the second round. After that, the few punches Bruno threw seemed to be uppercuts he was trying to sneak in on Tyson.


In the third round, Tyson set up the final series of punches with a right to the body. As Bruno winced and came forward to clutch, Tyson unloaded two lefts to the head, a right and then a right uppercut. He missed a couple of punches and then landed another uppercut that sent Bruno into the ropes.


Tyson continued slamming punches into the defenseless Bruno before the referee stopped the fight.


The ineffectual Bruno, who was paid $6 million, seemed to want to merely survive and not win. He did not fully test Tyson, who earned at least $30 million for his short night against Bruno. But Tyson was able to show enough head movement and will-sapping aggression against the hapless Briton to remove doubt that Tyson was definitely a powerful force to reckon with in the heavyweight division.


Bruno, on the other hand, demonstrated that he was not ready for prime time against a quality fighter.


"I hit like a mule,'' the 29-year-old Tyson said after the fight. "I just wanted to throw a bunch a punches. I just wanted to bring him down.''


"I'm fine. I'm a little brokenhearted,'' said Bruno. "I was just trying to use my weight against him, to lean on him, but he was just too fast. He got away from me.''