Frank Bruno MBE – Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Entertaining After-Dinner Speaker.
Frank Bruno was born in London, November 196. He started boxing at the age of nine when he joined the Wandsworth Boys Club.
Frank Bruno boxed three times as junior, winning twice. During his amateur career he boxed 21 times, winning 20 (he avenged his only defeat by Irish International, Joe Christie).
Frank boxed for the Sir Phillip Game Amateur Boxing Club from 1977 to 1980, where in his final season as an amateur, he represented Young England and at 18 was the youngest ever ABA heavy weight champion.
Frank Bruno started boxing professionally in 1982. His ring record is 45 contests with 40 victories, 38 of them knock-outs. His only defeats have been by James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith and in the World Title fights against Tim Witherspoon, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Frank won the WBC Heavyweight Title in 1995 when he beat Oliver McCall.
In 1990, Frank was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List, and was also voted the SOS Sports Personality of the Year for 1989 and 1990.
Since retiring from boxing in the late nineties Frank has made numerous guest appearances on dozens of TV shows including Cannon & Ball, Lenny Henry, Freddie Starr, Wogan, The Big Stage, Fort Boyard, Beach Fever, A Question of Sport and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. He has also presented the BBC TV series People, recorded two series of It’s A Knockout! for Channel 5 and continues to be a regular guest on numerous shows.
No newcomer to pantomime, Frank Bruno has appeared in pantomime many times over the years and in fact broke box office records at the Dominion Theatre where he starred with Michael Barrymore.
In 2003, Frank a special guest appearance on the Royal Variety Show in Edinburgh where he received a standing ovation and later that year returned again to pantomime playing the part of the Genie in Aladdin at High Wycombe. Frank also made an appearance in the UK touring production of the musical Boogie Nights.
In March 2004 The British Board of Boxing, Lonsdale and the EABF held a tribute lunch at the Dorchester hotel in London honouring Frank for his achievements both in and out of the boxing ring. Guests included Harry Carpenter, Reg Gutteridge, Audley Harrison and Michael Watson. Frank was also invited by the British Olympic Committee to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay in London in June 2004.