1970-09-26 Ken Buchanan w pts 15 Ismael Laguna, Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico - WBA/NY
1970-09-26 Ken Buchanan w pts 15 Ismael Laguna, Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico - WBA/NY. Referee: Waldemar Schmidt. Scorecards: 144-142, 145-144, 144-145. Fighting abroad without the permission of the BBBoC, Buchanan (134) started strongly to win three of the opening four rounds before the champion came back to cut him over the left eye in the fifth. Boxing brilliantly, jabbing Laguna (134½) with the left and crossing the right, Buchanan almost had his man over on several occasions but could not quite pull it off. The fight then evened out with Laguna continuing to peck away with the left, before Buchanan picked it up again in the latter sessions to storm home. At the final bell it was agreed that while Laguna threw more punches than Buchanan, the latter’s blows were harder and packed more authority.
Following his victory, with the backing of the BBBoC and the WBC, Buchanan went forward to meet Mando Ramos in a fight that would be recognised universally. Unfortunately, Ramos withdrew after being injured and was replaced by Ruben Navarro, a Mexican who was rated at number three in the world, at just three days notice. A two-fisted fighter with a penchant for working the body, Navarro had beaten Ray Adigun, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Ely Yares, Jimmy Robertson, Raul Rojas and Arturo Lomeli to achieve his ranking.