BOXING legend Frank Bruno put on a knockout performance for his Hartlepool fans when he paid a visit to the town on Thursday.
The legendary former World Heavyweight Champion was at the Corporation Club, in Whitby Street, for a sportsmans dinner organised by NSG Promotions.
The 52-year-old told a sell-out audience about how he made it to the top of his game, and also spoke candidly about the mental health issues whhich plagued him when he hung up his gloves.
Prior to taking to the stage, Bruno told the Mail he had enjoyed a few hours in Hartlepool with his big pal Dave Garside.
Bruno said: “It’s been nice to be in Hartlepool, I always enjoy coming to the North East because the people are so genuine.
“I went to the gym before the dinner because I like to keep myself in shape, though I just stuck to the fitness stuff rather than doing any sparring.
“Knowing I was in Hartlepool, I didn’t want to get flattened!
“I enjoy doing events like this one, it gives me a bit of a buzz and it’s nice that people want to come and see me.”
Bruno also had fond memories of a fight he had with Seaton Carew fighter Stewart Lithgo back in January 1983 in the early stages of his career.
He added: “I thought of the fight with Stewy as soon as I heard I was coming to Hartlepool.
“I remember it well, it was at the Royal Albert Hall. He was a tall, rangy fighter, he was awkward and he was a tough guy.”
Bruno happily posed for photographs and signed autographs for his fans, while Pools legend Joe Allon also took to the stage to talk about his career.
Nathan Greathead, who runs NSG Promotions, organised the event and was delighted with how it went.
He said: “This is the first event of this type I’ve done, and it was a big success.
“I’d like to thank everyone who made it happen, including all of my sponsors as well as friends and family, and I’m looking forward to arranging similar events in the future.”