Frank Bruno MBE
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Frank Bruno is not only one of Britain’s greatest-ever boxers, he is also one of its most-loved personalities. His career highlight was winning the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship in 1995. And since leaving the ring he has remained a popular celebrity.
Frank grew up with five siblings in a terraced house in South London, where his parents had settled after moving to England from the Caribbean.
He became a professional boxer in 1982, and quickly racked up a streak of twenty-one consecutive knockout wins. This streak caught the attention of boxing magazines, such as The Ring, KO Magazine, and Boxing Illustrated. In May 1984, however, the up and coming future world heavyweight Champion, American James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith, halted that streak when he defeated Bruno by knockout in the tenth and final round of their bout, with Bruno leading clearly on all three judges’ cards.
Frank was carefully managed, whereby he developed well to later give a strong account of himself in the big matches. Altogether, he won 40 of his 45 contests.
Bruno’s publicist throughout most of his career was sports historian Norman Giller, who wrote three books in harness with Frank: Know What I mean, Eye of the Tiger and From Zero to Hero. His manager for all but his last five fights was Terry Lawless, who signed him as a professional shortly after he had become ABA heavyweight champion at the age of eighteen.
Bruno completed the 2011 London Marathon which is the third marathon he has run successfully. He has also run numerous half marathons. He is also a patron for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, A Children’s Charity.
Frank has remained a popular celebrity with the English public since his boxing career ended. He was involved in the early BBC comic relief programmes and has frequently appeared on television.