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Frank Bruno (left) with Errol Christie
|Real name||Franklin Roy Bruno|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Born|| 16 November 1961 |
|Wins by KO||38|
Frank Bruno (left) with Errol Christie
|Real name||Franklin Roy Bruno|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Born|| 16 November 1961 |
|Wins by KO||38|
Franklin Roy "Frank" Bruno MBE (born 16 November 1961) is a British former boxer whose career highlight was winning the WBC heavyweight championship in 1995. Altogether, he won 40 of his 45 contests. Like Henry Cooper before him, Bruno has remained a popular celebrity with the British public since his ring career ended.
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 Bruno defeated former world title contender Scott LeDoux, the dangerous fringe contender Floyd Cummings, former European Champion Rudy Gauwe, British contender Eddie Nielson and trial horses such as Bill Sharkey, Walter Santemore and Ken Lakusta. However, in May 1984 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. As a general view, Bruno was carefully managed, whereby he developed well to later give a strong account of himself in the big matches.
Bruno won his next six bouts against respected opposition. He won the European heavyweight title with a KO over Swedens Anders Eklund, KO'd former European champion and world title contender Lucien Rodriguez, was taken the distance for the first time by the useful world rated Philipp Brown, and beat fringe fighters Larry Frazier and Jeff Jordan.
Bruno got back into title contention with an impressive one round KO win over former WBA champion Gerrie Coetzee of South Africa, and, in July 1986, he challenged Tim Witherspoon for the WBA heavyweight title. After once again leading on the cards for most of the fight, he ran out of steam and was defeated by knockout, in round eleven.
Bruno once again got himself back into title contention with wins over former contender James Tillis and journeymen Reggie Gross and Chuck Gardner. In October 1987 Bruno faced the veteran Joe Bugner, who although long past his peak was coming off impressive wins over Greg Page and David Bey. Bruno won by TKO in the 8th round, the referee stopping the bout, although it appeared Bugner could have continued.
In 1989, Bruno challenged Mike Tyson for the undisputed world heavyweight title. In the opening moments, the fighters came together with huge punches. Bruno's legs buckled, and he took a big step back, inadvertently stepping off the ring apron. Most agree that he would have gone down, at least to a knee in any event, and this was called a knockdown. Bruno did not complain, and instead gathered himself to continue, ultimately rocking Tyson (for the first time in his career) with a left hook toward the end of the round. However, Tyson recovered and eventually beat Bruno when the referee stopped the contest in round five with Bruno taking heavy punishment, lying helpless on the ropes.
Bruno kept winning fights, helping him to retain his spot as one of the world's leading heavyweights. He defeated good contenders such as Jose Ribalta, Carl Williams, and Pierre Coetzer, as well as the Dutchman Jan Emmen.
In 1993 he had a third world title chance against young Lennox Lewis, who was making the second defence of the belt (his first of three championship reigns). The Lennox Lewis vs. Frank Bruno fight was the first time that two British-born boxers had fought for the world heavyweight title. Lewis beat Bruno on a stoppage in round seven, Bruno again failing to take his title chance after leading the contest on points up until what proved the final round.
On 24 September 1994, Oliver McCall beat Lewis with a surprising and somewhat controversial second round knockout victory at Wembley Arena, and, after outpointing Larry Holmes, he came to England to defend the WBC title against Bruno. On 2 September 1995, Bruno finally became world champion by outpointing McCall over twelve rounds. Bruno did not last long as champion - the contract he signed in order to get McCall meant he had to face Mike Tyson in his first defence. Tyson beat Bruno on a stoppage in round three, Bruno performing unusually poorly in what turned out to be his last bout as a professional, despite having commented prior to the fight "I ain't freezing, son".
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 grew up with five siblings in a terraced house in Wandsworth, South London, where his parents had settled after moving to England from the Caribbean. In 1990, he married his partner Laura at a small church in Hornchurch, an area of Greater London near the border with Essex. They had three children. However, their relationship deteriorated, and they divorced in 2001.
Bruno has remained a popular figure 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).
In December 2005, Bruno announced that he was to become a father for the fourth time since finding new romance with old friend Yvonne Clydesdale. The pair, who first met five years previously at a health resort, began dating months after bumping into each other at a wine bar near his home. Yvonne gave birth to baby Freya on 10 May 2006.
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. In 1999, he featured on the celebrity special in the second season of Fort Boyard.
In January 2001, Bruno announced that he wanted to stand as the Conservative candidate in the traditionally safe Tory seat of Brentwood and Ongar against the independent Member of Parliament, Martin Bell. His proposed slogan was "Don't be a plank, vote for Frank!" However, this idea was quickly dismissed by Conservative Central Office. But in an interview with BBC Sport at the time Bruno laughed at the story and denied he had any intention of standing.
On 22 September 2003, Bruno was taken from his home near Brentwood in Essex by medical staff assisted by police officers, under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983. He was taken to Goodmayes Hospital in Ilford, where he underwent psychological and psychiatric tests. He had been suffering from depression for several months beforehand. He was later diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. On 9 October 2005 he admitted that his cocaine use, which began in 2000, contributed to his mental health problems. Media coverage of Bruno's problems raised controversy, the principal accusations were gross intrusion and insensitivity. Particular criticism was aimed at The Sun, whose headline in the first editions the next day read "Bonkers Bruno Locked Up". Second editions retracted the headline and attempted to portray a more sympathetic attitude towards Bruno and mental health in general. As an attempt at atonement, the paper established a charity fund for the victims of mental illness, although some mental health charities condemned The Sun's latter action that day as being grossly cynical in the light of the former. On 24 February 2008, Bruno offered his support to former footballer Paul Gascoigne, who on 21 February had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act Bruno also spoke on his own personal experiences in the mental heath system at a conference run by Hari Sewell, on 22 June 2009.
On 10 October 2006, Bruno and his partner Yvonne Clydesdale were jointly awarded £50,000 damages for libel against The People newspaper and publishers MGN in respect of false claims made about the pair's relationship.
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.
He is also a patron for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, A Children's Charity.
On 3 March 2011, Bruno appeared as a guest at The Sirloin pub in Chingford, East London for a questions and answers session. On 21 April 2011, Bruno appeared on the ITV1 chatshow The Alan Titchmarsh Show, where he was candid about his previous health issues.
Bruno completed the 2011 London Marathon which is the third marathon he has run successfully. He has also run numerous half marathons.
|40 Wins (38 knockouts, 2 decisions), 5 Losses (5 knockouts, 0 decisions), 0 Draws |
|Loss||40–5||Mike Tyson||TKO||3 (12)||16/03/1996||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Lost WBC Heavyweight title. Bruno was cut over his left eye in the first round.|
|Win||40–4||Oliver McCall||UD||12||02/09/1995||Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom||Won WBC Heavyweight title.|
|Win||39–4||Lee Walsh||KO||2 (10)||13/05/1995||Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom|
|Win||38–4||Rodolfo Marin||KO||1 (10)||18/02/1995||Bath & West Country Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||37–4||Jesse Ferguson||TKO||1 (10)||16/03/1994||National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom|
|Loss||36–4||Lennox Lewis||TKO||7 (12)||01/10/1993||Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom||For WBC Heavyweight title.|
|Win||36–3||Carl Williams||TKO||10 (10)||24/04/1993||National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||35–3||Pierre Coetzer||TKO||8 (10)||17/10/1992||The Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||34–3||Jose Ribalta||KO||2 (10)||22/04/1992||The Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||33–3||John Emmen||TKO||1 (10)||20/11/1991||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Loss||32–3||Mike Tyson||TKO||5 (12)||25/02/1989||Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For WBC, WBA & IBF Heavyweight titles. Bruno down in round 1 & penalized a point for holding. Bruno wobbled Tyson in the 1st round with a left hook.|
|Win||32–2||Joe Bugner||TKO||8 (10)||24/10/1987||White Hart Lane (Tottenham FC), Tottenham, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||31–2||Reggie Gross||TKO||8 (10)||30/08/1987||Nueva Andalucia Bullring, Marbella, Andalucía, Spain|
|Win||30–2||Chuck Gardner||TKO||1 (10)||27/06/1987||Palais des Festivals, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France|
|Win||29–2||James Tillis||TKO||5 (10)||24/03/1987||The Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Loss||28–2||Tim Witherspoon||TKO||11 (12)||19/07/1986||Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom||For WBA Heavyweight title.|
|Win||28–1||Gerrie Coetzee||KO||1 (10)||04/03/1986||The Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||27–1||Larry Frazier||KO||2 (10)||04/12/1985||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||26–1||Anders Eklund||KO||4 (12)||01/10/1985||The Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom||Won EBU Heavyweight title.|
|Win||25–1||Lucien Rodriguez||TKO||1 (10)||26/03/1985||The Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||24–1||Phillip Brown||UD||10||27/11/1984||The Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||23–1||Jeff Jordan||TKO||3 (10)||06/11/1984||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||22–1||Ken Lakusta||KO||2 (?)||25/09/1984||Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Loss||21–1||James Smith||KO||10 (10)||13/05/1984||Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||21–0||Juan Antonio Figueroa||TKO||1 (10)||13/03/1984||Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||20–0||Walter Santemore||KO||4 (10)||06/12/1983||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||19–0||Floyd Cummings||TKO||7 (10)||11/10/1983||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||18–0||Bill Sharkey||KO||1 (10)||27/09/1983||Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||17–0||Mike Jameson||KO||1 (10)||09/07/1983||DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||16–0||Barry Funches||TKO||5 (10)||31/05/1983||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||15–0||Scott LeDoux||TKO||3 (10)||03/05/1983||Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||14–0||Eddie Neilson||TKO||3 (10)||05/04/1983||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||13–0||Winston Allen||TKO||2 (10)||01/03/1983||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||12–0||Peter Mulindwa Kozza||KO||3 (10)||08/02/1983||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom||Mulindwa replaced the injured Alfredo Evangelista on 3 days notice.|
|Win||11–0||Stewart Lithgo||RTD||4 (8)||18/01/1983||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom||Lithgo's corner retired after the 4th due to severe cuts around his eyes.|
|Win||10–0||Gilberto Acuna||TKO||1 (10)||07/12/1982||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||9–0||George Butzbach||TKO||1 (8)||23/11/1982||Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||8–0||Rudy Gauwe||KO||2 (8)||09/11/1982||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||7–0||Ali Lukasa||TKO||2 (8)||23/10/1982||Berlin, Germany|
|Win||6–0||George Scott||TKO||1 (8)||14/09/1982||Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||5–0||Tony Moore||TKO||2 (8)||01/06/1982||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||4–0||Ronald Gibbs||TKO||4 (8)||04/05/1982||Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||3–0||Abdul Muhaymin||KO||1 (8)||20/04/1982||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||2–0||Harvey Steichen||TKO||2 (8)||30/03/1982||Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||1–0||Lupe Guerra||KO||1 (8)||17/03/1982||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom||Bruno's debut.|
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|WBC Heavyweight Championship|