Benny Lynch and Ken Buchanan

51 – Benny Lynch and Ken Buchanan win world titles

January 19, 1937 and February 12, 1971

THEY bred ‘em tough in the Gorbals and there was none tougher than Benny Lynch.

Benny began boxing as a teenager in the carnival booths on Glasgow Green to try to escape the poverty that surrounded him.

Despite having a slight frame, Lynch could punch above his weight as well as having natural boxing skills.

So it was no surprise when he turned pro aged 18.

It would be the start of a career that lasted just seven years but took in a whopping 119 fights.

He became Scottish flyweight champion and then won the British crown following a rematch with Jackie Brown in Manchester, where he knocked Brown to the floor 10 times in two rounds.

Upon returning to Glasgow, thousands lined up to meet him at Central Station as the city came to a standstill.

But the fight that would define his career came on January 19, 1937.

Benny was up against Small Montana of the Philippines at Wembley.

The two men slugged it out for 15 gruelling rounds before Lynch took a points decision.
The lad from the Gorbals had conquered everything in his path to become the undisputed world flyweight champion.

Lynch was Scotland’s first ever boxing world champion, but sadly that was the beginning of the end for him.

Fame and fortune brought him money problems and alcoholism, and less than two years after beating Montana, his boxing licence was revoked.

Benny died, aged just 33, in 1946, but his legend lives on.

But, 35 years later, another great would arise, this time from the other side of the country.

Some regard Ken Buchanan as the greatest pound-for-pound British fighter of all time.

During his career, Ken took on the world’s best and fought in boxing’s most famous venues.

He made a habit of emerging triumphant when everything was against him.

He became the undisputed world lightweight champion in 1971 after winning all the belts, including a fight in Puerto Rico in over 100-degree heat!

And only a below-the-belt shot in his ‘watcha-ma-callits’ by the legendary Roberto Duran cost him his world title.

The Edinburgh fighter would never box in his home city, but he twice shared the bill with Muhammad Ali, as his fame and reputation spread far beyond Scotland.