Frank 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 with the British public. His image was enhanced by his relationship with the BBC boxing commentator Harry Carpenter, his appearances on the early Comic Relief programmes in the 1980s and his frequent appearances thereafter on television and on stage (in pantomime).
He grew up with five siblings in a terraced house in South London, where his parents had settled after moving to England from the Caribbean.
Frank Bruno became a professional boxer in 1982, quickly racking up a streak of twenty-one consecutive wins by knockout. This streak caught the attention of international boxing magazines, such as The Ring, KO Magazine, Boxing Illustrated, Ring En Español. During this period Frank defeated former world title contender Scott LeDoux, the dangerous fringe contender Floyd Cummings, former European Champion Rudy Gauwe, British contender Eddie Nielson and many others. 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.
In 1995, the year of his world championship, he released a cover version of “Eye of the Tiger”, the theme song of the movie Rocky III. It reached No 28 in the UK charts.
By 2005 Bruno was able to appear on BBC Radio as a guest expert at a boxing match, as well as appearing on television again. Bruno now regularly makes personal appearances and he also sells autographed items of memorabilia.
Bruno completed the 2011 London Marathon which is the third marathon he has run successfully. He has also run numerous half marathons.
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.
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. He still appears regularly in pantomime.