Let The Good Times Roll: The Night Hilmer Kenty Won The Lightweight Title


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In order to secure Kenty a title shot, Steward had to pay tribute to the new Mafiosi in boxing: banana republic sanctioning bodies. Yes, the likes of Frankie Carbo, Blinky Palermo, and Eddie Coco had been replaced by a conjunto of prizefight grifters in Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, and the Caribbean. Pepe Cordero, outed by Bob Arum as a WBA “Bagman” in 1983 and a one-man-gang of graft, opened his sit-down with Steward in Puerto Rico by placing a gun on his desk as a preamble to negotiations. Unfortunately, Steward was a little light in the wallet for Cordero, who, presumably, did not accept personal checks or Layaway. Steward returned to Detroit, hocked what he could, and finally managed to raise the kickback. It was done: Hilmer Kenty would be fighting for the lightweight title. Read more from The Living Daylights.

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