“He gained everyone’s respect as well as their friendship.”
Tributes have been paid to renowned cuts man Benny King after he passed away this week at the age 78.
A prominent figure in Scottish boxing for a number of decades, King firstly worked the corner as a trainer and then became a cuts man for a long list of fighters, including Craig Docherty, Kevin Anderson Jawaid Khaliq, Tony Dodson, Mark Hobson, James Hare and Kris Carslaw.
Scottish promoter and manager Tommy Gilmour praised the loyal service and commitment of the Greenock man, his long-term friend.
“He’s been my pal for 40-odd years,” said Gilmour. “All the places I went in the world, Benny came with me.
“There’s been a lot of memorable nights. Craig Docherty got badly cut and he’s kept so many fighters going. He was always well respected, no matter which side of the fence he worked for.
“His loyalty was beyond question, I think that was one of his strongest points. He was so loyal to me and the rest of my family, that you could not have wished for a better friend, or a better colleague.
Commonwealth champion Craig Docherty received King’s assistance
“We took him all over the world with us, and he always kept everyone together, and the fighters loved him. He gained everyone’s respect as well as their friendship.”
Gilmour revealed how King’s medical skills were even utilised during a late-night traffic accident.
“We could see this lorry turning over, got out of the car, and Benny at that stage, he’d had a lot of trouble with his back, but the adrenaline must have been pumping.
“He jumped up onto the cabin, got the fella out. He had a cut eye and Benny says to me ‘Go and get my cut gear out of the back of the car.’ Benny patched the guy up at the side of the road until the ambulance arrived.”
Ring Announcer Craig Stephen recalled how King’s calm instruction as a cornerman helped Kevin Anderson to a British title win over Young Mutley in 2006.
“Benny told it like it was,” said Stephen. “Kevin Anderson against Young Mutley, I wasn’t working the fight, but I was there and very close to the corner. Kevin was in trouble, but Benny was just cool in the corner as always.
Kevin Anderson (left) was given King’s calm guidance in Young Mutley fight
“Kevin looked up and went ‘he’s broke my tooth’, and Benny just looked at him and said ‘I’ll buy you a new one’ and got on with it. He kept him going and Kevin eventually stopped Young Mutley.”
Billy Nelson, who has trained a number of Scotland’s most successful fighters, hailed King’s professionalism.
“Benny was a well-liked and calm man. He had time for everybody, from amateurs to world champions.
“A wealth of knowledge about boxing. Just an all-round nice guy. You knew you had a solid, dependable man working in your corner, if he was doing your cuts, and he always gave you good advice after the fight.”
Fellow trainer Colin Belshaw also benefited from the wise words of King, who passed on his expertise before bowing out of the sport.
“He worked with Kris Carslaw and myself in the British title fight against Brian Rose,” said Belshaw. “Kris had a nasty cut early on and Benny held that together from the third until the 12th round.