Boxing legends are to headline a special dinner to boost funds for a statue of acclaimed boxer Ken Buchanan.
The star studded event on April 27 will bring together past and present champions in support of the Ken Buchanan Foundation (KBF) to help secure a statue for the “tartan legend”.
The boxing elite have rallied to show their appreciation for Ken.
Former world champion Jim Watt, world welterweight champion John H Stracey, WBC super-middleweight title holder and Commonwealth champ Richie Woodhall, light-heavyweight John Conteh will be joined by current fighters light welterweight Josh Taylor bantamweight prospect Lee McGregor, European champion Stephen Simmons and super lightweight Jason Easton.
Scottish comedian Raymond Mearns will entertain the crowds followed by a Q&A session with boxing pundit and journalist Steve Bunce.
Former world lightweight champion’s lifelong friend and former fighter Owen Smith started the Ken Buchanan Foundation two years ago with Peter and John Swanson, Alastair Clive and Andy Crawford.
Efforts to commission a public effigy of the former world lightweight champion – possibly at the bottom of Leith Walk – have been ongoing and trustees of the Ken Buchanan Foundation (KBF) are determined to raise £50,000 for the statue to be built as a cultural memorial of his world class boxing accolades.
Ken said: “I can’t thank Owen and the guys from the Foundation enough for bringing all these champions together to raise money for the statue. It’s amazing that there will be a statue of me in my hometown – that would be really something.”
The event will also be attended by members of Ken’s former ring at Lochend Boxing Club. Owner Terry McCormack said it was a pity it has taken so long to recognise Ken’s success. “The sooner it gets put up the better,” he added.
Tickets for the black tie event at the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel are on sale. Owen said: “The KBF have now moved up a step to put on this dinner show – an event of past champions and future champions coming together to support the statue appeal to commemorate Ken’s boxing achievements. All I will say is thanks to everybody who has helped me do this – their support has been amazing. Edinburgh and the rest of Britain will come together to support Ken.”
Ken was recognised by the city with the prestigious Edinburgh Award in March last year. His gold hand-prints have been set in a flagstone outside the council HQ in appreciation of his sporting prowess.
His lengthy scoresheet reveals the career of a dedicated sportsman who continually fought at the top of his game. He was crowned the World Boxing Association world lightweight champion in 1970, defeating Ismael Laguna in Puerto Rico. He was also the American Boxing Writers’ Association’s Fighter of the Year, ahead of boxers such as Ali and Joe Frazier. In 1971 he defeated Ruben Navarro in Los Angeles to become WBC and undisputed world lightweight champion.