When you think of some of the all-time greats in boxing history, admittedly, Scotland doesn’t always spring straight to mind.
Over recent decades, top tier fighters have been sparse from the region, but in the sport’s long history, there has been an extensive list of pugilistic legends that have graced the game.
Unbeaten welterweight talent from Edinburgh, Lee Redpath shares his collection of the best Scottish boxers ever.
- Ken Buchanan (61-8) Lightweight
Widely regarded by many as Scotland’s greatest boxer, the 5ft 7” lightweight from Edinburgh became the undisputed World lightweight champion when he beat Hall of Famer, Ismael Laguna in 1970.
The elegant, tough, and capable Scot rose to the top of the lightweight class during one of its most stacked eras.
He dominated a tough European scene and fought gallantly in defeat to all-time great, Roberto Duran in 1972, when a punch to the groin ended Buchanan’s evening.
- Alex Arthur (31-3) Super-featherweight
Quite simply, amazing! He became the WBO World super-featherweight champion in 2007 and also won the British, Commonwealth, and European titles.
He officially retired on his 35th
birthday and fought his last fight at the Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh which is the same venue for my next fight in September.
- Benny Lynch (88-14-17) Flyweight
One of the greatest flyweights of all-time, reigning in the late 1930’s. A former World flyweight champion from Gorbals and quite often rated top of the pile on other people’s lists.
Lynch was one of the most thrilling fighters of his time. He first served international notice when he flattened respected Jackie Brown in 1935.
He won the World flyweight strap with an impressive victory over famed Filipino, Small Montana and notably defended the honours against an unbeaten Peter Kane.
Even with his abilities slipping, he still managed to score a final good win in knocking out top contender, Jackie Jurich.
- Scott Harrison (27-3-2) Featherweight
‘The Real McCoy’ is a former World boxing featherweight champion and the first Scot to ever regain the WBO World championship.
He became the WBO World featherweight champion in 2002. In July the following year, he lost the title to the Mexican Manuel Medina but regained it in November of the same year.
In May 2006, Harrison pulled out of a title defence in Belfast due to be screened on ITV1's Big Fight Live and it became apparent that things were not all good as Harrison checked into the Priory Clinic in London, citing problems with depression and alcohol.
His career was then dogged by controversy out of the ring and persistent problems with alcohol caused him to fall foul of the law on numerous occasions.
- Ricky Burns (37-5-1) Lightweight
‘Rickster’ is a former two-weight world champion from Coatbridge. He held both the WBO World lightweight and super-featherweight titles and challenged for British and European honours.
He’s been a pro for close to 15 years and is still active although I’d like to see him hang up his gloves now especially after only one win in his last five fights.
He has entertained for long enough and my favourite fight of his was the Battle of Britain with Kevin Mitchell, which he won with a fourth round stoppage.
- Jim Watt (38-8) Lightweight
The Glaswegian southpaw became the World lightweight champion in 1979 and held off several challengers to his crown.
A long-time domestic threat, the resolute Watt put it all together late to build a solid world-class CV. At a record of 26-7, his future looked rather ordinary before beating a slew of top Europeans to establish his credentials.
He then won the vacant WBC lightweight belt against Alfredo Pitalua and made defenses against Robert Vasquez and top Irishman, Charlie Nash.
His final two wins were truly special, as he defeated unbeaten Olympic gold medallist, Howard Davis Jr. and future titlist, Sean O’Grady (then 73-1).
In his final fight, he bowed out admirably in losing the belt to a peak Alexis Arguello.
He can be found nowadays getting a scorecard to a high-profile fight completely wrong as a pundit on Sky Sports!
- Willie Limond (38-4) Light-welterweight
He is the current British and Commonwealth light-welterweight champion and former WBU, IBO Inter-Continental, and Commonwealth lightweight Champion.
He recently added the Lonsdale belt to his hoard after defeating footballer-turned-boxer, Curtis Woodhouse and effectively ended his career.
- Paul Appleby (19-6) Lightweight
He was the youngest ever British featherweight champion, aged 20-years-old. He spent his first three years and 14 fights undefeated and took the title from solid opponent, John Simpson and defended it against a quality foe in Esham Pickering.
That was in 2008, a highly successful year for Appleby culminating in being bestowed with Britain's Best Young Boxer of the Year Award by the Boxing Writers Club.
- Kenny Anderson (18-1) Super-middleweight
Kenneth "Kenny" Anderson is a Scottish professional boxer and former Commonwealth Games light-heavyweight gold medallist.
He stormed the Melbourne Games in 2006 by defeating five boxers and stopping three of them on the way to winning gold. Anderson stopped his first foe in just 30 seconds, easily the fastest stoppage recorded in the 2006 Games.
He is commonly regarded as the most successful amateur boxer since Dick McTaggart MBE to come out of Scotland winning eight international gold medals and a host of silver and bronze.
He became the British super-middleweight champion after beating Robin Reid for the vacant title and his only loss in the pro ranks was to George Groves in a Commonwealth super-middleweight fight which he mistakenly accepted at two week’s notice.
- Walter McGowan (32-7-1) Flyweight
McGowan became World flyweight champ when he beat Salvatore Burruni in 1966.
He was an extremely skillful boxer, who showed brilliant footwork and knew how to use the ring. However, he suffered throughout his career with cuts, often having fights stopped despite being ahead on points. Without this weakness, he would have had an even more successful career.
He became the first Scottish World boxing champion to be privileged in the Queen's Birthday honours list in 1966. He was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, alongside the likes of Ken Buchanan.
World flyweight champion from 1943-1948, winning it with a first-round knockout of Peter Kane.
A former British light-welterweight champion.
Former IBO Inter-Continental super featherweight champion.
Held the British light-heavyweight title but tragically died in a car crash aged 29.
Nicknamed the Cowboy, he won a light-middleweight bronze in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and held the British, Commonwealth, European and Scottish Area middleweight titles.
Johnny Hill (18-1-3) Flyweight
Two-time World flyweight champion who sadly died just three years after his debut, aged 23.
Former British and Commonwealth featherweight champion.
Former Commonwealth super-featherweight champion.
He won the BBBofC Scottish Area bantamweight title in November 1994. The southpaw tragically died, aged 25, from injuries sustained in his British title challenge with Drew Docherty in October 1995.
Dick McTaggart MBE Lightweight
The greatest amateur boxer ever to emerge from Scotland, he was a five-time ABA champion and purportedly won 610 of his 634 amateur bouts. Won gold in 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
Lee Redpath (2-0) v TBA
New Era featuring Stephen Simmons
Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh
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