In what proved to be the last fight of his career, Frank Bruno defended the WBC heavyweight title, which he had won from Oliver McCall six months earlier, against former undisputed world heavyweight champion ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas on March 16, 1996. Tyson was having his third comeback fight after being released from prison, on parole, the previous March, having served less than three years of a six-year sentence for rape.
Nevertheless, the bout, which was billed as ‘The Championship: Part I’, proved to be a distinctly one-sided affair. Despite conceding 3½” in height and 27lb in weight, Tyson wobbled Bruno with a vicious combination towards the end of the first round and opened a deep cut above his left eye. Bruno looked to hold on at every opportunity, which cost him a point in round two, and offered little or nothing offensively.
After an expletive-laden tirade from his corner man George Francis, Bruno was warned for holding by referee Miles Lane earlier in the third round. Bruno continued to try to smother his opponent but, after two more clinches, Tyson cut loose, landing a crushing right hand to the body, followed by a dozen or so powerful punches, culminating in a left hook that left Bruno sitting, helpless, on the bottom strand of the ropes. Lane quickly intervened, stopping the contest and handing victory to Tyson, by technical knockout, after just 0:50 of round three.