British boxing hero, Frank Bruno, will host a Q&A on a Cunard cruise later this month. Credit: Shutterstock

Star on board: Frank Bruno MBE

Author: Sarah Riches

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Updated on:

Joining Cunard’s new Queen Anne for a British Isles cruise, the boxing legend will be discussing his greatest battles – in and out of the ring – as he tells Sarah Riches

What is your advice for today’s boxers?
If you’re a novice, you must put in the hours and prove you’re better than the others: when you’re told to run two miles, run four.

If you’re on the brink ofretirement, you need to give up when your body tells you to. When you finish, find another occupation. I learned to dance, did panto and made a second career as a personality. My Sooty & Co TV show should have got me an Oscar.

Tell us about your Mike Tyson fights...
Tyson was in his prime in the first one. I rocked him in the third round but he was unstoppable. I tried my best; sadly that wasn’t enough. In the second fight he had just come out of prison, where all he had to do was keep fit, so he was stronger than ever.

What do you miss about boxing?
I loved the routine. It gave me purpose and I enjoyed the training, still do. Your team are like your family and training is hard but when you win it’s all worth it. I was a world champion – and no one can take that away from me.

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You’re bipolar. What’s your message for those struggling with mental health?
Sufferers don’t always accept they have a disorder; even now I want to argue with medics. You need a good team around you, family or friends who can support you when you’re going manic. There are thousands of organisations but you need to contact them first.

What can family do to help loved ones with mental health issues?
Ask for help. When I was ill, The Frank Bruno Foundation chairman said: "Carers sometimes need as much help as the sufferers." There are organisations that can offer a sympathetic ear down the phone.

The Caribbean is one of the world's most popular cruise destinations. Credit: Shutterstock

Where would you most like to cruise?
The Caribbean is my idea of paradise. Ideally I’d take Muhammad Ali to talk about old times; James Brown as he could sing; Madonna as I’ve always had a crush on her; and my Dad, as he was taken from my life too early and there is loads I want to tell him. I know he’d be really proud.

What are you most looking forward to on your British Isles cruise round Scotland and Ireland?
I love meeting people and I love learning about different cultures but I’m not sure you’ll get me in a kilt. I also love Scotland’s unspoiled scenery. I love the stillness, too, especially first thing in the morning when there’s mist.

Get on board
Cunard’s 14-night British Isles Festival Voyage aboard Queen Anne, return from Southampton via Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Invergordon, the Isle of Skye, Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool and Cork, departs on May 24, 2024. From £2,499 per person for a Britannia Balcony cabin.

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About Sarah Riches

After a five-year stint living in Asia, Sarah was inspired to become a travel journalist. Sarah has freelanced for Condé Nast Traveller and National Geographic Traveller and is the author of London Almanac (2010) and Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to British Customs & Culture (2024). She was also the deputy editor of Time Out Abu Dhabi, Where London and London Planner, digital editor of Wanderlust – the UK’s oldest travel magazine.