One of the best-loved boxers Britain has ever produced, Frank Bruno was not just a boxing personality, for a while he became one of the country's favourite national figures.
Bruno became a professional boxer in 1982, quickly racking up a streak of 21 consecutive wins by knockout. A fearless fighter, his greatest moment came in 1995 when, at the fourth attempt, he became World Heavyweight Champion. An epic tussle against Oliver McCall went the distance, but it was Bruno who triumphed, winning on points.
His victory was well-received both in the boxing world and beyond; rarely has a boxer captured the hearts of such a wide audience. Bruno's appeal was in part due to his never-say-die attitude, but it was also due to his willingness to engage in banter, to have a laugh and joke with interviewers.
His catchphrase was "Know what I mean, Harry?" It was a result of his frequent interviews with boxing commentator Harry Carpenter.
His out of ring personality was in stark contrast to the brutal and uncompromising fighter he became once the bell had gone. Nowhere was this more in evidence than in the fight that defined Bruno in the eyes of many observers, his second stab at the heavyweight title against Iron Mike Tyson in 1989.
Tyson was in his prime: unbeaten and possibly unbeatable. But Bruno gave him the fright of his life and one of the toughest tests he had faced to date. In the opening moments, the fighters came together with huge punches. Frank's legs buckled, and it was judged a knockdown. Frank 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. But 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.
A recurring eye problem forced Bruno into retirement from boxing in 1995 but his popularity has endured. He is a tireless fundraiser for charity, completing, the 2011 London marathon, the third marathon he has run successfully. He has also run numerous half marathons.