‘Let me be Frank’
Is the name of the Former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Frank Bruno’s book. A book that big Frank signed for me last night at ‘evening with Frank’.
I am a boxing fan. Although I must admit my interest has dropped off the last decade – when Mike Tyson lost his mojo.
I went to see Mike Tyson fight in Manchester in 2000. It was awesome.
Last night was a different vibe. Frank Bruno retired from boxing when he lost his Championship title to Mike Tyson 20 odd years ago. Now, in his late 50’s, big Frank is still a popular British sports personality and has enough interest to fill out a function room in the Intercontinental Hotel in Hua Hin in the middle of January.
Ten persons to a table… and limited to 8 tables. A decent crowd. Most people were holiday makers and some long term expats who I would have loved to have punched in boxing ring myself. More on that later..
To kick things off, everyone gathered in the gardens for drinks. Big Frank arrived and worked the crowd, shaking hands and posing for photos. I was genuinely impressed at how nice and polite he was. Of course he is getting paid for it – but he really did put the work in.
The night was a buffet dinner, a talk by Frank on the highlights of his career, an Auction of sporting memorabilia, a raffle and some Q&A with Frank and the guests.
Dinner was good. It was a buffet – but it’s the Intercontinental. Good quality and great service. Lots of the guests were going up for second and third helpings. I have a special place in my heart for these kinds of people. Twats.
While Frank was sitting at his table… alone, I took the opportunity to ask him to sign a copy of his book that I have. He did it happily.
Frank on stage.. went through a little script of his career and some of his personal struggles with Mental Health. All of which is covered in his book in great detail. Surprisingly, he is pretty switched on. And I say ‘surprisingly’ because the general public’s perception of Frank is that he is the arse end of the Pantomime horse. That’s down to the garbage tabloid papers who dream up headlines and rubbish to sell papers. Don’t believe he is a dummy. He is a normal bloke and was pretty quick on his jokes.
After a drinks break – the Action started. There were 5 pieces on offer. All in nice display frames.
Sugar Ray Leonard Shorts
Bruno signed glove.
Mike Tyson signed shorts
Glove signed by Mike Tyson & Anthony Joshua
Photo signed by some old footballers?
There is a reason the Auction is toward the end of the night – it’s so all the idiots get drunk on wine and go mad on the bidding. Who on earth would want a pair of shorts which someone’s written their name on? Fools.
The 1st item went for 30k…. the second for about 20k. Then the Tyson shorts came up… 5…. 10…12…13.. then some idiot shouted out ’20 thousand’. No more bids after that.
Then there was the Tyson & Joshua glove… bidding kicked off at 5…7…9…12..15…20….25… then the fool who bought the shorts won the glove for 30 thousand.
Can’t remember what the Footy thing went for. Can’t say I was interested.
Another session with Frank on the stage answering questions. Everyone being respectful and paying attention – except for the table next to ours. Some horrid ‘middle-eastern’ old bastard was talking to his missus. And when I say ‘missus’.. I mean a pig ugly ladyboy who had a nose bigger than Brunos. They were horrible and totally disrespectful. I gave it a big ‘ssssshhhhhhhh’ and a death stare – and they finally shut their fat ugly faces.
Questions from the floor… the usual questions came up… ‘who do you think the inspirations for kids is today’….. ‘who was your toughest opponents’ etc….. then it was my turn, wanting to make things a little lighter. I asked ‘Frank, when you were in the hospital, your emotions running high and the doctors telling you to take their cocktail of drugs which you didn’t want…. Did you ever tell them ‘make me!’
Let’s face it… he’s a big fella. I can’t see how anyone could make him do something he didn’t want to do. But he’s not daft. He said he had to tow the line and play their game or he’d be seen as uncooperative – which is true. But he saw where I was coming from and did say ‘I did tell them doctors to fuck off a few times’! – And that was the only time he swore last night.
That was the end of the night… and he stayed around to sign the backs of the Auction items and pose for a few more photos.
It was a really good night and for a boxing fan – it was thoroughly enjoyable.
The night started around 18:30 and we left around 22:30.
I was then left with the problem of what on earth am I going to do with the memorabilia I had just won at auction.