Buckley has received much press in the past week as the “worst boxer in history”, but though he may be the sport’s biggest loser he is also one of its most gracious.
The boxer, 39, avoided a 257th career defeat last night with a victory on points over Matin Mohammed in the Aston Events Centre in Birmingham.
Buckley entered the arena to a hero’s welcome, rapturously received as the “house” boxer for his swan-song 300th fight.
* World’s worst boxer throws in the towel
* Comment: why we all love the incompetent loser
His record includes fights against and, on the whole, defeats to a number of the great names of boxing who fought Buckley on their way to the top. Names such as Naseem Hamed on Buckley’s CV enabled him to enjoy home fighter status on the undercard of a title fight for the Commonwealth super-flyweight title.
Though Buckley v Mohammed was just a sideshow to Don Broadhurst’s eventual points victory over Isaac Quaye later the same evening, fans greeted Buckley’s 40-38 victory with great affection, and applauded the Brummie welterweight as he was presented with various mementoes of his long if scarcely distinguished career.
A broad, albeit rather tired, smile graced the boxer’s face as he raised a tattooed arm of victory at the fight’s end, the blue laces trailing from the gloves he was hanging up for the last time.
Yet his career, though not greatly decorated, was marked by more pluck than the 256 defeats might suggest. Many of his defeats came in fights that he accepted at less than a day’s notice. And despite his impressive tally of losses, he was knocked out in only ten of them.
Before his 32nd career victory on home turf last night, Buckley had also fought to 12 draws, the last of which was on October 5 against the very man he beat last night.
The British Boxing Board of Control will be breathing a sigh of relief today that its long-held fears over Buckley’s health and safety have proved unfounded and that their prayers for him to stop fighting before suffering a terrible injury have finally been answered.
And although he has fought so frequently during his career that he has often turned up to fights with black eyes, Buckley seemed fresh-faced, if a little swollen, as he left the ring, sticking to his promise that it would indeed be his final fight.
“Win, lose or draw, this is definitely my last fight,” he had said beforehand. Now he has left on an unexpected high – and as the most experienced, if battered, boxer in history.
Out for the count
— Peter Buckley has lost 256 times, drawn 12 times and won 32 times
— He lost to 42 future world, European, Commonwealth and British champions
— Before last night he lost 88 in a row
— He is nicknamed The Professor