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Ken Buchanan eager for Roberto Duran meeting in Cardiff

Roberto Duran during his third night against Sugar Ray Leonard
Roberto Duran is set to be reunited with Ken Buchanan

Roberto Duran and Ken Buchanan will be amongst more than 80 former champions gathering in Cardiff next week for the WBC Night of Champions event.

Joe Calzaghe, Miguel Cotto, Vitali Klitschko, Erik Morales and Nigel Benn are also amongst confirmed guests.

Duran won Buchanan's world lightweight crown after a controversial low blow in Madison Square Garden in 1972.

"I'm particularly looking forward to seeing my good friend Roberto Duran," Buchanan said of the Cardiff event.

Despite a long and colourful pursuit, Scotland's Buchanan was never given a rematch with the Panamanian legend.

For many the highlight will be seeing Buchanan and Duran back together, following their infamous meeting 38 years ago.

It's great to have so many talented boxers together under the same roof

Ken Buchanan on the WBC Night of Champions

Edinburgh's Buchanan, who spent the first five years of his career in Wales working with Eddie Thomas and Howard Winstone, went into the fight as the WBA champion, having upset the great Panamanian Ismael Laguna nearly two years earlier.

Duran had just turned 21 but was undefeated in 28 fights.

He dropped Buchanan early and controlled the early rounds and there were few signs the bout would turn into one of the most controversial in boxing history.

At the end of round 13, Buchanan claimed he was kneed in the groin, but referee Johnny LoBianco did not see any infraction and the fight was stopped before the 14th round could begin.

Ken Buchanan and Mike Tyson
Buchanan says he still suffers groin pains from the Duran fight

The Scot, who claims he suffers groin pains from the punch to this day, launched a long and fruitless pursuit of a rematch.

Most bizarrely, at the age of 50 in 1995 he packed in his job as a joiner to fly to New York and attempt to confront Duran.

Ending up in a bar in Harlem, he was recognised from the 1972 fight and welcomed into a local bed and breakfast.

He spent a fruitless two weeks seeking Duran in the local gyms and bars, before eventually flying home and recovering his job.

Cardiff hosts Night of Champions

"I am very excited about the festival, it's great to have so many talented boxers together under the same roof," said Buchanan.

"It's looking to be a fantastic weekend."

The Night of Champions at the Cardiff International Arena on 31 July is the culmination of a three-day boxing festival in the Welsh capital.

It begins on Friday with the premiere of the movie of the life of Welsh great Howard Winstone, "Risen".

The next night sees a high-quality amateur boxing night with Team GB taking on the rest of the world.

Barry's European bantamweight bronze medalist Andrew Selby faces Chinese star Jiawei Zhang, while Cardiff welterweight Fred Evans also faces a formidable challenge against 2009 US National champion Errol Spence.

Stracey on Cardiff's boxing coup

see also
Buchanan considers return at 63
18 May 09 |  Boxing
Duran inducted into hall of fame
15 Oct 06 |  Boxing
Duran hangs up gloves
26 Jan 02 |  Boxing
Buchanan becomes boxing legend
07 Jun 00 |  Sport
Boxing & Madison Square Garden
04 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Tough return for medalist Selby
09 Jul 10 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Cardiff's greatest fight nights
04 Jun 10 |  Boxing
5. Howard Winstone
11 Apr 02 |  Boxing
Get your gloves on
13 Dec 05 |  Get Involved
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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