Scottish boxing great Ken Buchanan dies aged 77

Scottish boxing great Ken Buchanan dies aged 77

Scottish boxing great Ken Buchanan has died at the age of 77.

Buchanan became the undisputed world lightweight champion in 1971 and is among a handful of British names to adorn the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

He won his first 33 fights, finishing his career with a 61-8 record.

His death was announced in a Facebook post from the Ken Buchanan Foundation, which read: "It's with great sadness that we have to inform you that Ken Buchanan passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning.

"Further announcements will come and please give the family some time to process this sad news. RIP Ken, always a gentleman and one of the best champions we will ever see."

Buchanan's son revealed last year that he was suffering from dementia and living in a care home.

The boxer won the WBA lightweight title in 1970 by defeating Ismael Laguna in a famous fight in Puerto Rico and added the WBC crown the following year with victory over Ruben Navarro.

He was stripped of the WBC title for failing to defend it against Pedro Carrasco and then lost the WBA belt when he controversially suffered just a second defeat against the great Roberto Duran.

Duran was controversially awarded victory after flooring the Scotsman with a low blow.

Duran's manager promised a rematch and Buchanan pressed his case by producing two more impressive wins at Madison Square Garden, beating Jim Watt in a classic British title fight, claiming the European belt and racking up wins around the world.

Buchanan once topped the bill above Muhammad Ali at boxing's most exalted venue, Madison Square Garden in New York, and shared his dressing room with Ali.

"We had a great laugh," he said. "I drew an imaginary line in the middle of the room and said: 'Don't cross that or there will be trouble'."

Buchanan fought for the final time in 1982.

He was made an MBE in 1972 and was inducted into both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the Scottish Sport Hall of Fame, while a statue of him in his home city of Edinburgh was unveiled last year.

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf tweeted: "Sad to hear Scotland's first undisputed champion of the world Ken Buchanan has died.

"He inspired and mentored a generation of boxing talent here in Scotland and beyond. Rest in peace Champ."

Scotland's Josh Taylor, who emulated Buchanan when he became an undisputed world champion in 2021, said on Twitter: "I'm saddened to hear the news of the passing of my hero and Scotland's greatest ever champ, whom I take such inspiration from.

"RIP Ken Buchanan, God bless your soul."