Edinburgh boxing legend Ken Buchanan’s world title belt expected to fetch £15k at auction

Ken Buchanan boxer, 1974, holding his collection of boxing belts including the Lonsdale Belt 'World Title belt.
Ken Buchanan boxer, 1974, holding his collection of boxing belts including the Lonsdale Belt 'World Title belt.
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The World Lightweight Championship of the World belt won by Scotland’s greatest ever boxer, Ken Buchanan, in 1970, is expected to fetch up to £15,000 at auction next month.

The iconic Ring Magazine belt was won by the legendary Edinburgh fighter after he defeated Panamanian world champion Ismael Laguna in Puerto Rico on 26 September 1970.

Ken Buchanan pictured at Lochend Gym / LA Fitness.

Ken Buchanan pictured at Lochend Gym / LA Fitness.

Buchanan, famed for fighting in tartan shorts, won the bout by a 15-round decision to take his first world title. He later sold a number of his belts after falling on hard times.

The silkwork Ring Magazine belt with inscribed medallions will go under the hammer at Graham Budd Auctions Sporting Memorabilia Sale in London on November 4, when it is expected to fetch £12,000-15,000.

According to the auctioneers, the belt was “acquired directly from Ken Buchanan by the presented vendor”.

Auctioneer Graham Budd said: “Ken Buchanan was a great fighter whose name is still revered. This belt was won in his famous win (over Laguna) -- items of this quality do not come up very often.

“We rate this belt as one of the best items in the entire auction. There is every chance it may return to Scotland.”

Buchanan, who was born in Leith, took up boxing at the Sparta Club aged eight and turned professional aged 20 in 1965.

He twice fought on the same bill as the late Muhammad Ali in New York’s Madison Square Garden, and is the only living British fighter in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, which he was inducted in to in 2000.

Buchanan became WBA World Lightweight Champion by defeating Laguna and was named the American Boxing Writers’ Association’s “Fighter of the Year” in 1970, ahead of boxers like Ali and Joe Frazier.

In February 1971 he defeated Mexican fighter Ruben Navarro in Los Angeles to add the WBC Belt and become the undisputed world lightweight champion of the world.

Buchanan was undisputed champion until controversially losing to the legendary Roberto Duran at Madison Square Garden in June 1972. The fight was ended only after Buchanan sustained a low blow at the end of the 13th round.

The Scot retired in 1976 but returned in 1978 for a short period until 1982. With a record of 61 wins and eight losses, he is still widely regarded as Scotland’s finest ever boxer.

The silk belt for sale features a large central medallion mounted by an eagle, and inscribed “The Ring Magazine Award World Lightweight Championship won by Ken Buchanan of Scotland”.

Two smaller medallions on either side read “Outpointed Ismael Laguna of Panama in 15 rounds, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 26 1970”,

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