FRANK BRUNO

HEAVYWEIGHT BOXER // PEOPLES CHAMPION

INTERVIEWED BY

ALEX SOUTH

In March 1984, at Wembley Stadium, American future world Heavyweight champion James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith, then a boxing journeyman, defeated Frank by knockout in the tenth and final round of their bout, with Frank leading on all three judges’ cards.  In July 1986 he challenged Tim Witherspoon for WBA World Heavyweight Championship.  After once again leading on the cards for most of the fight, he was defeated by knockout in round eleven.  Frank says “on the night Witherspoon was a better boxer and my head got in the way of Witherspoon’s fists!”

In 1989, Frank challenged Mike Tyson for the unified world Heavyweight title in Las Vegas.  Although not winning, it was fair to say the whole of the UK was willing Frank on!

Frank kept winning fights, helping him to retain his spot as one of the world’s leading Heavyweights.

In 1994 Oliver McCall, after beating Lennox Lewis and Larry Holmes, came to England to defend the WBC title against Frank.

On 2 September 1995 Bruno finally became World Champion by outpointing McCall over twelve rounds.  The whole of the UK hailed Frank as King Broooono!!  A tour through London with the winning belt on an open top bus drew hundreds of thousands of fans to cheer and wave at Frank.

In 2003 Frank was diagnosed as having Bipolar disorder.  His well documented illness put Frank in the public eye and he used this media attention to help with the stigma attached to mental health and to help raise the standards of care given to those suffering with mental health issues.  Frank supports many charities for mental health both financially and with his time.

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