March Featured Speaker 2021: Frank Bruno – 1980 Heavyweight Champion & Mental Health Campaigner
Former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Bruno, made a defining impact on boxing throughout the 80s and 90s. Such success had a detrimental impact on his mental health, and in 2003 he was admitted to hospital to treat his depression and bipolar disorder.
Frank has since spoken about his mental health battles at conferences and during media campaigns, to destigmatise the illness which impacts 25% of the English population. As a diversity and inclusion speaker, he discusses the role that workplace culture plays in stress management, as well as what business owners must do to support their employees.
Who is Frank Bruno?
From the heights of boxing success to his personal battles with mental illness, Frank has led a life unlike any other.
Boasting an incredible 95% knockout-to-win ratio, Frank is regarded as one of the greatest boxers to come from the sport. He made his professional debut in 1981 and quickly started knocking world titleholders off of their pedestals.
Including defeating Joe Bugner to be crowned European Heavyweight Champion and Oliver McCall to earn the WBC Heavyweight title, Frank’s long, illustrious career is one for the history books. As a speaker, he recounts the mental resilience that allowed him to win 40 out of 45 fights.
Mental Health Battles
Following a continued battle with bipolar disorder, starting in 2004 when he was admitted to hospital, Frank is now an empowering mental health speaker. He supplies valuable insight into the process of being sectioned, and why we should campaign for better mental health support.
At events, Frank has a powerful message for attendees. In his own words:
“Mental illness is a terrible thing to have to cope with but I’ve learnt it’s a fight you can win if you live your life the right way.”
The Frank Bruno Foundation
The Frank Bruno Foundation was launched by Frank following his mental health battles. Using the combined physical benefits of non-contact boxing and professional mental support, his 12-week programme sets people on their wellbeing journey.
From building self-esteem to instilling discipline in participants, the organisation is essential to Britain’s mental health support framework.
Frank has been a regular on British television since he retired from boxing in the late 90s. He went on to star in such programmes as This is Your Life and Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, as well as release a popular cover of Eye of the Tiger, which reached #28 in the charts.
In 2013, the BBC Documentary, Rachel Bruno: My Dad and Me, explored Frank’s mental health battles alongside his daughter, Rachel. The powerful programme discussed bipolar disorder in all of its forms, to destigmatise the often misunderstood condition.
Recent appearances include the 2021 Sky documentary, Bruno vs Tyson, which explored the boxers’ rivalry. The thrilling documentary has already been viewed by millions of fans, all eager to see behind the scenes of Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson’s incredible story.
Frank’s Published Books Include:
- Let Me Be Frank
- Frank: Fighting Back
- Eye of the Tiger: My Life
- From Zero to Hero
Frank’s Previous Speaking Engagements & Events
We have had the pleasure of booking Frank for a wide range of events, including promotional campaigns and speaking engagements. Learn about some of his previous appearances below:
The Crossbar Foundation
Date: July 2018
Hosted at the Lilleshall National Sports & Conference Centre, Frank took part in a Q&A where he captivated guests and posed for photos with fans. The event was a roaring success and reflected Frank’s ongoing popularity.
Date: April 2019
Taking part in a Q&A for Bradfield College, Frank answered students’ questions and supplied a behind the scenes view into his career. He also posed for photos and wrote autographs, to ensure a truly unforgettable experience for all in attendance.
Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital
Date: May 2020
Frank participated in a Successful Leaders & Teams Workshop for the Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital. At the event, he discussed mental health and his boxing career with internal employees, teaching them the importance of emotional resilience.
Official Testimonials of Frank Bruno:
“Frank was charming and professional, everyone thought he was lovely. Please, could you pass on our thanks to him for making it a great evening.”
– General Builder
“Frank was an absolute gent. Please pass on our thanks to him, we really could not have asked for any more from him. He was a pleasure to deal with from start to finish.”
– Byland Countryside Services
“Just want to say a personal thank you to yourself and Frank for his work at the weekend. Without a doubt, one of the nicest people I have ever met, made the night for everyone and I cannot thank you enough. Everybody loved him.”
– Majestics Personal Training
“The event went amazingly well, thank you. Frank was incredible! He arrived on time and nothing was too much trouble. All-round lovely, lovely man.”
– Crossbar Coaching
Frank Bruno’s Speaking Topics:
When booked for diversity and inclusion-themed events, Frank is known to discuss the following speaking topics:
- Boxing and Sports
- Life in the Ring
- Drive and Determination
- Peak Performance
- Performing Under Pressure
- Mental Resilience