Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini, Ken Buchanan heading to Cannock on Sept 13
Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini will be joined by a former undisputed world champion in his division of lightweight when he comes back to Cannock.
Mancini returns to Bar Sport in Cannock nearly two years after his first visit on Wednesday September 13 and he will be expecting company.
Scotsman Ken Buchanan will also be on the top table for a gala dinner with the two in the Premier Suite at Scott Murray’s popular venue.
Another one-time world champion in Richie Woodhall, from Telford, will lead the way in a question and answer session with both fighters.
‘Tartan Legend’ Buchanan, regarded as his country’s most successful boxer, bossed his weight when he unified the WBA and WBC belts.
They were the only two world governing bodies, at the time, with the IBF and WBO to follow in the 1980s, along with other lesser-regarded outfits.
Buchanan held the WBA crown until 1972, when he lost to hand a young Roberto Duran his first world title reign.
The finish was controversial, as they exchanged punches after the bell with Buchanan felled by one shot, which he claimed was a knee to the groin.
Referee Johnny LoBianco awarded the fight to Duran, claiming it wasn’t a low blow and ruling Buchanan was in no position to continue.
The Scot would never receive a rematch or become a world champion again, although he did seize the European strap.
It was at the second attempt, after a losing effort on points in 1970. He had been a British and Scottish area title holder, too.
Mancini was one of his successors as WBA boss, with the two having a common opponent in George Feeney.
Buchanan, who is now aged 72, hung up his gloves in 1982 after being outpointed by Feeney, who then lost to Mancini over the distance in Italy the following year.
Both are International Hall of Famers, Buchanan inducted in 2000 with Mancini joining him in 2015. Buchanan had previously been made an MBE in 1971.
Italian-American Mancini, 56, arrived on the world stage in the 1980s with a losing effort at legendary three-weight ruler Alexis Arguello for WBC honours.
The second-generation pugilist would claim the WBA crown in his second world title shot, with a stunning first round TKO against Arturo Frias in 1982.
His tenure lasted two years with three defences, the second tragic as Duk Koo Kim lost his life as a result of their contest.
The South Korean opponent suffered brain injuries that he died from four days later, which affected Mancini so much he suffered from depression.
To make matters worse, Kim’s mother committed suicide four months, while the bout’s referee Richard Green killed himself in July 1983.
The WBC took steps to shorten the distance of it’s title fights as a direct result. The WBA and WBO followed in 1988, as did the IBF in 1989.
Mancini retired and returned in the years that followed the bout and lost a split decision to Hector Camacho, for the WBO belt at super lightweight, in 1989,
He remained wealthy after his permanent retirement in 1992, having kept hold of 75 per cent of the $12 million he earned from boxing throughout his career.
Mancini, who had a made-for-television movie made about his life and counted Frank Sinatra among his personal friends, become an actor and film producer.
He auditioned for the role of Mr Pink in hit gangster movie Reservoir Dogs and got into a fiery argument with director Quentin Tarantino when Steve Buscemi landed the part.
Tickets for the event in Cannock are still on sale, starting from £45. The ‘platinum’ option includes a seat in the main function room and five-course meal.
A ‘silver’ pass is £65, with the same benefits plus a professional photograph with Mancini and Buchanan. ‘Gold,’ at £100, allows entry to a private meet and greet beforehand.
For more information and to book places for the show, get in touch with Bar Sport directly by calling 01543 572 092.