1980sBoxingCBSGil ClancyLightweight BoutsLightweight Title FightsTim Ryan

Boxing – WBC Lightweight Title – Ray Boom Boom Mancini VS Ernesto Espana


On April 30, 1980….Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini defeated Bobby Sparks with a knockout at 1:28 in the first round for the regional Ohio State Lightweight title. Over a year later on May 16, 1981, Mancini won his first major title by defeating Jorge Morales for the NABF Lightweight championship….when the referee determined that Morales could not continue after the 9th round. Two months later, he successfully defended the title against Jose Luis Ramirez….winning by a unanimous decision. Mancini’s first attempt at a world title came in his next bout on October 3 when he was pitted against Alexis Argüello for his World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight title. The event was selected by many….including The Ring and ESPN….as one of the most spectacular fights of the 1980’s….as Mancini gave Arguello trouble early building a lead on the scorecards….but Arguello used his experience to his advantage in the later rounds….stopping Mancini in the 14th round.  Mancini would rebound from the loss to Arguello by winning his next two bouts….including a second (and last) successful defense of his NABF Lightweight title against Julio Valdez with a 10th round TKO….which would earn him another chance at a world title.

On May 8, 1982, in a match held at The Aladdin in Las Vegas….he challenged the new World Boxing Association lightweight champion Arturo Frias….when fifteen seconds into the fight….Frias caught Mancini with a left hook to the chin and another combination made Mancini bleed from his eyebrow….but Boom Boom recovered and dropped Frias right in the center of the ring with a combination. Dazed, Frias got back up but Mancini immediately went on the offensive and trapped Frias against the ropes….and after many unanswered blows….referee Richard Greene stopped the fight at 2:54 in the first round….and the Mancini family finally had a world champion.

Ernesto España was a Venezuelan boxer….who held the World Boxing Association lightweight championship in 1979 and 1980.  España became a professional boxer in 1975 and won 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….as España knocked out Noel in the thirteenth round to win the title. He defended his title once by knocking out Johnny Lira,…before losing the title to Hilmer Kenty by knockout in March 1980…..followed by a rematch in September….when Kenty would knock España out again.

In 1981 he beat future champion Arturo Frias…so, 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….as seen in this video….but this time Ray Mancini knocked him out in six rounds in July 1982.


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