BBC Sport boxing

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 11:27 UK

Buchanan considers return at 63

Ken Buchanan
Barry McGuigan presents a Five Live Sport special on Tuesday 19 May, from 2000 to 2100 BST

British boxing legend Ken Buchanan says he could make a return to the ring at the age of 63.

The former world lightweight champion, regarded by many experts as the greatest British boxer of all time, says he needs to return to make money.

"I would be the oldest professional world champion ever to make a comeback," he told 5 Live Sport.

"It wouldn't be a legal fight, it would be white-collar boxing. I've got to do it, it's the only way to make money."

The Scot, who will be 64 on 28 June, won the WBA lightweight title in 1970 and became undisputed world champion in 1971.

He says he has already been in talks with unlicenced promoters about a comeback and has been sparring with young hopefuls at the Sparta boxing club in Edinburgh.

I've got a broken back and shouldn't even be in a gym

Ken Buchanan

Buchanan would have no hope of getting a licence from the British Boxing Board of Control, which regulates professional fights, but insists he would not need one.

"A lot of people will say I can't get a licence but I don't want a licence," said the Scot, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June 2000.

"I'd just go to the white-collar boxing people, who I was talking to. They really wanted to hold it in Scotland but I want to go down south. It's all just talk at the moment but I won't be afraid to go through with it."

White-collar boxing first came to prominence in the United States in the mid-1990s, when men and women from white-collar professions trained to fight at special events.


The World White Collar Boxing Association was set up in 2007 to try and regulate and promote the sport.

Buchanan admits a comeback could be fraught with danger.

"I've got a broken back and shouldn't even be in a gym because I'm on pain killers for the rest of my life," he said.

"The only way you can make that money is to make a comeback. I can't work, I could never get employed anywhere.

"I know it's stupid but it will work out OK. I'm in good nick, it's difficult to give it up."

Buchanan is determined to make a comeback in order to fund a legal challenge after an Edinburgh newspaper claimed he sold his five championship belts earlier this year because he needed the money.

Buchanan insists he actually sold the Lonsdale, European, WBC, WBA and Ring magazine belts to businessman Willie Garriok so they could be exhibited in the National Museum of Scotland.

The Scot was undisputed lightweight champion until 1972, when he relinquished his title to Roberto Duran after a controversial below-the-belt punch.

The Panamanian, widely regarded as the greatest lightweight of all time, has said Buchanan was his toughest-ever opponent.

Buchanan has struggled to find a purpose in life since retiring from boxing in 1982. He set up a hotel business, which failed, and worked as a joiner.

He has gone through two divorces and is still battling alcohol problems.

"I tried the AA but couldn't take it. It (alcohol) has played a big part in my life, caused the break up of my second marriage. It has been a problem for a while."

* Barry McGuigan presents a Five Live Sport special on Tuesday 19 May, from 2000 to 2100 BST

see also
Who's the greatest British boxer?
22 Nov 05 |  Boxing
On the ropes
18 May 09 |  Boxing

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

The Times Buchanan comeback? Don't hold your breath - 35 hrs ago
Mail Online UK BOXING: Ken Buchanan: I'm 63 and have a broken back but I want to box again - 37 hrs ago
Sporting Life BUCHANAN WANTS COMEBACK AT 63 - 38 hrs ago
Setanta Sports Buchanan to return at 63 - 41 hrs ago
Telegraph Buchanan comeback must be stopped - 43 hrs ago


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.