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Kenty won the National AAU Lightweight championship in 1974 and 1976. He beat Aaron Pryor in the 1976 national A.A.U. Golden Gloves.
Kenty turned pro in 1977. In 1980, Kenty captured the WBA Lightweight Title with a TKO over Ernesto España, becoming Emanuel Steward's first world champion, and the first world champion from Detroit since Joe Louis decades earlier. Kenty and Thomas Hearns both won WBA belts together and became known as the motor city cobras. Kenty defended his belt three times before losing it to Sean O'Grady in 1981, and retired in 1984.
Kenty was raised in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Linden McKinley High school.
| WBA Lightweight Champion
2 March 1980 – 12 April 1981