London Real: Frank Bruno Interview Notes

The Frank Bruno Interview on London Real with Brian Rose hosts one of the most popular and celebrated boxers in the British Boxing History.

Frank Bruno (@frankbrunoboxer) is known for his highly successful career inside the Boxing Ring which earned him the WBC World Heavyweight Championship and is also known for his outspoken views and opinions on mental health issues from which he suffered for a long time.

From growing up in South West London, venturing into boxing, and facing Mike Tyson, to retiring after an eye injury, mental health issues, and starting the Frank Bruno Foundation, Frank Bruno unpacks a lot in the interview.

Here are our key takeaways from the conversation.


  • Frank Bruno was expelled from the Primary School and sent to the Oak Hall Reform School in Sussex because of hanging with the wrong group of young people and getting into problems
  • Frank’s mother wanted him to be a preacher or a lawyer and not a boxer
  • Frank was very focused and determined during his boxing days and wanted to be the World Champion
  • Before fights, he would have the mentality of “It is either him or me” and he would give it his all in the ring
  • Frank recounts that Cus D’Amato was a person one could sit and listen to all day because of his knowledge and vision
  • After retirement, he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and was sectioned three times
  • Frank was treated badly during the mental illness treatment that made him start the Frank Bruno Foundation to help people in similar situations
  • He advises people suffering from mental illness to listen to mentors and structure their lives
  • Frank advises young people to leave the negativity out and make the world a better place


  • “I think in life, you’ve got to lose before you win. You can’t win, win, win all the time, and not know what it’s like to lose.”
  • “Famous? So what, if I’m famous. I’m human.”
  • “If you cannot look after yourself, you cannot be good for nobody else.”
  • “Sometimes life ain’t fair. You gotta take certain different things on the chin. And get on with what you’ve got to do.”
  • “I’m always being taught a lot because I’m thirsty to learn.”


  • Frank Bruno grew up in South West London and had 3 sisters and 2 brothers
  • As a boy growing up, he was fascinated with bad guys and started to hang around with the wrong crowd
  • He was expelled from primary school and was sent to the Oak Hall Reform School in Sussex where he learned discipline and respect
  • He had dyslexia and wasn’t good with studies and hence took up boxing


  • Frank Bruno took up Boxing and was very focused and determined to become a World Champion
  • He won his first 21 fights in a row as a professional which caught the attention of a lot of people
  • Frank ran into James “Bonecrusher” Smith who handed him his first defeat
  • People loved the full-steam-forward-pushing fighting style of Frank Bruno


  • Frank Bruno faced Mike Tyson for the World Heavyweight Championship in 1989 rocking Mike Tyson for the first time in his career with a left hook
  • Mike Tyson recovered from it and won the fight in the fifth round with a barrage of shots landing on a helpless Frank on the ropes
  • Frank Bruno said that he had no complaints and went back to the drawing board to right the wrongs


  • In the Frank Bruno Interview, Frank recounts his bout with Lennox Lewis for the WBC Heavyweight Title in 1993 where he was leading on all judges’ scorecards when Lewis caught him with a left hook and finished him in the 7th round
  • Frank said that he was fighting a good fight but had no excuses for the loss as Lennox defeated him in the fight
  • It was the first time in history that two British boxers fought for the World Heavyweight Title


  • On his fourth attempt to become a World Champion, Frank Bruno won the WBC World Championship in 1995 after defeating Oliver McCall
  • In the interview, Frank says that he would have regretted had he not won the World Championship because that was what he was training for
  • It was an unforgettable night for Frank Bruno at the Wembley Stadium in London when he won the World Championship


  • Frank Bruno faced Mike Tyson for the first defense of his World Title in Las Vegas
  • He lost the fight due to a TKO in the third round
  • After the fight, Frank realized that he had aggravated his eye injury after the second fight with Mike Tyson. He had earlier torn his right eye retina after the first fight with Mike Tyson.


  • Frank Bruno was sectioned after his retirement due to mental health issues after he was found walking through the woods. He was taken to the hospital.
  • Frank Bruno came to realize his Bipolar Disorder when he was told about it by the doctors
  • He was treated in the hospital where he claims that he was treated badly
  • Frank was put on medications which caused hallucinations and distorted his perceptions
  • Frank Bruno mental health issues made him become aware of the medications he was taking and the effects it had on him
  • In Frank Bruno Autobiography, he talks in detail about his struggle with mental illness and challenges people to rethink their use of medications as a remedy for their situation
  • Frank Bruno is completely off medications for almost two years – as of the year of the interview (2018)
  • Through the Frank Bruno Foundation, Frank is killing the stigma of mental health and building healthy bodies and healthy minds


  • Frank Bruno advises his 20-year-old self to learn, listen, and get as much experience and knowledge as possible. He also advises his younger self to be himself, humble, and grateful for whatever he got.
  • Frank Bruno advises the 20-year-olds around the world to not look at color or religion but to look at the person itself. He advises young people to leave the negativity out and make the world a better place.

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