Jim Watt leads the tributes to Ken Buchanan after he died aged 77

‘I feel a real sense of loss and deep sadness’: Jim Watt leads the tributes to Ken Buchanan after he died aged 77, with Barry McGuigan hailing the ‘absolutely fabulous man’ and Owen Smith claiming ‘my best pal is gone’

  • Jim Watt claimed his former opponent ‘looked terrific’ when he last saw him 
  • Barry McGuigan hailed Ken Buchanan’s ‘polished’ technique inside the ring 
  • It was announced the boxing legend passed away on Saturday at the age of 77 

Jim Watt led the tributes to Ken Buchanan on Saturday night following his sudden passing at the age of 77.

Watt, who became a close friend of Leith-born Buchanan, was given the shattering news while playing a round of golf.

Clearly stunned by the loss of the man who out-pointed him in a British title fight at Glasgow’s St Andrew’s Sporting Club in January 1973, Watt said, ‘I can hardly believe Kenny has gone. When I last saw him he looked terrific, as if he could still do lightweight.

‘I honestly thought he would last another decade at least the physical shape he was in. I feel a real sense of loss and deep sadness.’

Former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan recalled sparring with Buchanan, describing it as an incredible learning experience.

British boxing great Ken Buchanan (L) has died at the age of 77 a year after it was revealed he was suffering from dementia and living in a care home

Tribute was made to Buchanan at the O2 arena ahead of Anthony Joshua’s clash with Jermaine Franklin

He said, ‘I’m heartbroken. Ken was an absolutely fabulous man and I’m so desperately sad to hear of his passing.

‘He was someone I admired and looked up to. What he did in 1971 going to Madison Square Garden and defeating Ismael Laguna was amazing. Ken was different, he had a polished boxing style and could fight on the inside brilliantly.

‘When he came over to spar with me it was a rude awakening. I quickly realised what I had to do if I was going to get to the top.’

However, no one is hurting more than fellow former Edinburgh boxer Owen Smith, who was always by his friend’s side through the good times and the not so good times.

Smith said, ‘This is the worst news possible; so dreadfully sad. My best pal is gone.’

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