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Boxing – WBA Lightweight Title – Champ Hilmer Kenty VS Ernesto Espana


James Kenty, also known as Hilmer Kenty is a former American boxer who was born in Austin, TX….Bone Daddy and my home town…..keep Austin weird, baby…..who was a former WBA professional boxing champion in the lightweight (135lb) division.  Kenty won the National AAU Lightweight championship in 1974 and 1976….beating Aaron “The Hawk”  Pryor in the 1976 national A.A.U. Golden Gloves.

Kenty turned pro in 1977….and in 1980 he captured the WBA lightweight title with a TKO over Ernesto España….becoming Emanuel Stewards and Kronk Gym’s first world champion…. and the first world champion from Detroit since Joe Louis decades earlier. Kenty and Tommy Hearns both won WBA belts together and became known as the motor city cobras….with Kenty defending his belt three times before losing it to Sean O’Grady in 1981 and retirng in 1984.

Ernesto España was a Venezuelan boxer who held the World Boxing Association lightweight championship in 1979 and 1980….who became a professional boxer in 1975….wonning all of his bouts except one when he fought Claude Noel on June 16, 1979, for the vacant WBA lightweight title that had been given up by Roberto Durán. España knocked out Noel in the thirteenth round to win the title. He defended it once by knocking out Johnny Lira before losing the title to Hilmer Kenty by knockout in March 1980….as seen in this video herewith…..and in a rematch in September….Kenty knocked España out again.

In 1981 he beat future champion Arturo Frias. When Frias won the WBA lightweight title, España challenged him but Frias avenged his only loss and won a technical decision over España in 1982. España’s next fight was another challenge for the WBA lightweight title….but this time Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini knocked him out in six rounds in July 1982. España never challenged for a world title again and retired in 1988.


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