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Kenneth (Ken) Buchanan


1945 -

Light-weight boxer. Born in Edinburgh and brought up on the public housing estate of Northfield near Portobello. Winning his first amateur competition at the age of 8, Buchanan became a professional in 1965. By 1968 had won the Scottish and British lightweight titles and went on to gain world-wide recognition. In 1970 he tried and failed to capture the European title from Miguel Velasquez in Spain, but in the same year gained the WBA world title by defeating Ismael Laguna in the heat of Puerto Rico, becoming the first British lightweight champion since 1917. Buchanan went on to defend this title twice in the USA, before losing it in a controversial fight against Robert Duran at Madison Square Garden (New York) in 1972. However, Duran was sufficiently shaken that he refused to face Buchanan again.

Buchanan came back to defeat fellow Scot and future world champion Jim Watt (b.1948) to regain the British lightweight title and win the Lonsdale Belt outright (1973). He then took the European title by defeating Italian Antonio Puddu, but narrowly failed to take the WBC world title when he lost a points-decision against Ishimatsu Suzuki in Tokyo (1975).

Buchanan fought relatively little thereafter and finally retired in 1983, with a record of 62 win and only 8 defeats. He was the first living Scot to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (2000) and became one of the first members of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.


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