Ken Buchanan: Scottish boxing legend’s family hopes he will be at the inauguration of a statue in Edinburgh

Leith-raised Buchanan became the undisputed lightweight world champion in 1971 after defeating Ruben Navarro at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles.

A statement released by son Mark Buchanan revealed that his father “has good days and bad days” in his caring home but hopes the 76-year-old will be at the statue ceremony in the Capital in August.

The statement read: “In addition to a number of press reports in September 2021, I report that my father Ken Buchanan MBE has a formal diagnosis of dementia.

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Scotland’s greatest boxer ever, former world champion Ken Buchanan, has been diagnosed with dementia.

“My father lives in a private nursing home in Edinburghwhere he is well cared for.

“There are a few sports stars recently announcing their dementia and at the age of 76 my father’s dementia probably came similarly as a result of his sport.

“The result of my father’s dementia sometimes makes him very forgetful.

“My father has good days and bad days, as those who know dementia will know.

“My father and I had to make the difficult decision to put my father in private care for his own safety because of his growing vulnerability.

“My father’s care is great and he enjoys visiting family and friends.

“Unfortunately we had to make the difficult decision to stop some people who had a negative impact on my father by visiting the private caregiver, this was not an easy decision, however my father’s well-being is very important to us.

“My father’s fame lives on in the world of boxing. We received an invitation on behalf of my father to be inducted into the West Coast USA Boxing Hall of Fame. Due to his cognitive impairment, we had to decline this invitation.

“My father’s public appearances will probably be limited now. We always hope that my father will be able to attend the inauguration of his statute probably in August 2022.

“My father’s legacy has been handed down to many great Scottish boxers since the 1970s and I hope my father’s World Championship victories in the United States will continue to inspire young Scottish boxers to be great champions.”

Buchanan was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Last year, in a documentary about his remarkable career, he said he had lived a “great life.”

In “Uncontested: Ken Buchanan’s Life and Times”, originally shown on BBC Scotland, the ring legend studies old photos of his life and career.

He remembers proud moments, from teaching a playground bully a lesson to the “magic” of representing Scotland, as well as the great tragedies of his life including the death of his most passionate supporter, his mother Cathy at just 51, and the unhealthy low blow of ring legend Robert Duran that cost him his world title.

He said: “I had my life and I had a good kick of the ball, and I have no axes to grind, no one. I just lived my life and that’s it because if I sat down. And take care of that, I would never sleep.

“I’m just Kenny Buchanan, I was a world champion but that’s all behind me, finished and finished.”

He adds: “I think I’m Jock Tamson, I don’t put myself above anyone. Everyone is on the same level as me and I don’t feel bad about my life and how it went.

“I had a good life – I had a great life – I did things that no one in this country did and I enjoyed it.”

Buchanan started boxing at the age of eight, after persuading his dad Tommy to take him to Edinburgh’s Sparta Club, and won his first medal at the age of eight and a half and weighing 3 to 2 pounds. He made his international debut at the age of 17 and became a professional after winning the British amateur title two years later in 1965.

He said: “I was a little bullied at school because I was skinny. I had a little chip on my shoulder but only because guys wanted to fight me, and then his brother would want to fight me because I would knock him out.

“It was just a left-footed shot I gave him, and that was it. All I wanted to be was the world champion – the best fighter in the world.”

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“I’ve had a great life,” says boxing legend Ken Buchanan

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