1971-09-13 Ken Buchanan w pts 15 Ismael Laguna, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WBA
1971-09-13 Ken Buchanan w pts 15 Ismael Laguna, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WBA. Referee: Jimmy Devlin. Scorecards: 9-6, 10-5, 8-6. Fighting with a badly swollen left eye from the third round, Buchanan (133½) showed championship spirit as he overcame the problem to gradually get on top of his challenger who had visibly slowed by the fifth. By the eighth Buchanan was outpunching Laguna (135) at the rate of three to one and although the latter was still well in the fight he was losing it. Unfortunately for Buchanan, in the 12th his left eye was further damaged when it was badly gashed, an injury that required 12 stitches after the fight, but he gritted his teeth and despite worries that it might be stopped he drove on to extend his lead further.
Having taken in a couple of non-title fights, Buchanan’s next challenger would be the 21-year-old Roberto Duran, an aggressive hammer-fisted fighter from Panama. Unbeaten on 28 straight, with 24 wins inside the distance, Duran had beaten Ernesto Marcel, Lloyd Marshall, Hiroshi Kobayashi and Angel Robinson Garcia, and was the division’s outstanding newcomer.