Scotland boxing great, Ken Buchanan MBE, has passed away one year on from a diagnosis of dementia, as confirmed by his family.
Known as ‘The Fighting Carpenter’, Buchanan started his professional career going 33 fights over four years undefeated.
After claiming the British Lightweight title, he travelled to Puerto Rico to dethrone Ismael Laguna and win the WBA and The Ring heavyweight straps. A truly stellar away win for a fighter in the blistering Caribbean heat more used to the stinging cold of Caledonia.
Buchanan defeated Rubén Navarro in Los Angeles in 1971 to become the undisputed lightweight champion – the first man from Scotland to achieve such a feat in any division. He would go on to face the great Roberto Duran at Madison Square Garden.
The man from Edinburgh hung up the gloves with 61 wins from 69 fights, having put his country on the fighting map with a unique style and unrivalled determination.
He was recently honoured as Scotland’s greatest ever with a bronze statue on Leith Walk, the area in which he was born in 1945. A statement from the Ken Buchanan Foundation delivered the sad news of his passing.
“It is with great sadness that we have to inform you Ken 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.”
50 years on from his historic undisputed win, Josh Taylor became the second man from Scotland to do it and the first British fighter to rule a division in the four-belt era. Taylor has branded Buchanan as a hero and inspiration in his campaign.
The 32-year-old – who had welcomed the late, great legend into his home – sent a message of condolence.
“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.”
I’m saddened to hear the news of the passing of my hero & scotland’s greatest ever champ, whom I take such inspiration from.
RIP Ken Buchanan ❤️
god bless your soul 🙏🏻
🏴 👑 pic.twitter.com/24gfX7W2dE
— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorBoxer) April 1, 2023
Tributes from the boxing world continue to pour in as it mourns and celebrates one of its finest fighters.