6'1" super middleweight Kendra Lenhart was born in Lenoir
City, Tennessee on July 16, 1974. She is trained by
her husband Marvin and fights out of Tennessee (originally Lenoir City, then Knoxville)
At the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City on March 21, 1998,
Dalton, Georgia's Mitzi Jeter (164 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision
over Kendra, who weighed in at 168 lbs.
Jeter improved to 3-1 with the win.
On May 24, 1998 at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City,
6'0" heavyweight Kathy Rivers of Hollywood, Florida
TKO'd Kendra in the fourth, moving her pro record to 2-0.
On August 21, 1998 at the Belle Casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
Kathy Rivers (173 lbs) won a six-round unanimous
decision over Kendra (177 lbs) in the rematch, advancing her record to 4-0 (1
On December 2, 1998 in New Orleans, Louisiana,
Kendra knocked out Valerie Mahfood of Port Arthur,
Texas in the third round of a light heavyweight bout, dropping Mahfood's
record to 3-2.
On June 4, 1999 in Charlotte, North Carolina,
Kendra won by a second-round KO of Francis Williams of Atlanta,
who was making her pro debut.
On June 11, 1999 at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,
IBA women's heavyweight champion Suzette Taylor of
Atlanta, Georgia won by fifth-round TKO over
Kendra in a give and take slugfest. Trailing going into round four, Taylor dropped
Lenhart for an eight count with a tremendous left hook. Taylor came
out fast in the fifth and the bout was soon stopped by the
referee. This was Lenhart's second fight in a week, and she fell
to 2-5 while Taylor improved to 5-1-1 (3 KO) as a pro boxer.
On August 6, 1999 in Tunica, Mississippi,
Kendra Lenhart scored a third-round TKO over Genevia Buckhalter
of Columbus, Mississippi in a light heavyweight bout.
Buckhalter was knocked down in the first round and
took a standing eight in the second before succumbing
to Lenhart's pressure early in the third.
Buckhalter fell to 1-2-1.
On August 28, 1999 in Traverse City, Mississippi,
Kendra (172 lbs) won a first-round TKO over Marjorie Jones (175 lbs)
to move her pro record to 4-5.
Jones fell to 1-3-1 with the loss.
On December 10, 1999 at the Grand Casino in Tunica, Mississippi,
A scheduled four-round bout between Kendra (158¾ lbs)
and Gina Nicholas (5'5", 154½ lbs)
of Longview, Texas was declared a technical draw between the third
and fourth round because an unintentional head butt in the first round caused excessive
bleeding to Lenhart. Nicholas was 10-3-2; Lenhart 4-5-1.
On January 13, 2000 at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,
Kendra moved to 5-5-1 with a
KO over debut fighter Lisa McQueen of Mississippi
in what was said to be the first leg of an IFBA four-round
Heavyweight tournament. Lenhart stopped McQueen in the first round with solid body
On February 11, 2000 at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner,
(5'9", 160 lbs)
of Albuquerque, New Mexico won a unanimous (96-94, 97-93, 98-92) decision over
Kendra (163 lbs) in a clinch-filled struggle
for the IFBA Super Middleweight title. This fight was
a late substitute for a scheduled title bout
between Florida rivals Chevelle Hallback and Lena Åkesson,
and neither Ortegon or Lenhart seemed fully ready for a
ten-round battle of attrition. The bout became a grabby
in-fighting struggle that was not a thing of beauty
as Ortegon upped her pro record to 8-1 while Lenhart
slipped to 5-6-1.
On March 23, 2000 in Tunica, Mississippi,
Suzette Taylor of Atlanta, Georgia
moved her pro record to 6-2-1 (4 KO's)
with a sixth-round KO of Lenhart, who fell to 5-7-1.
On September 23, 2000 at Camp Jordan Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee,
Kendra (170 lbs) won by a KO at 0:50 of the
first round over Ashley Hall (180 lbs) of Spartanburg.
On October 20, 2000 at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan,
Laila Ali (5'10", 165¼ lbs) advanced to 8-0 (7 KO's) with a unanimous
(58-56,58-56,60-54) six-round decision over Kendra
(165½ lbs) who fell to 6-8-1. This was Ali's
first fight to go the distance. Lenhart rocked Ali and bruised her face
with several swinging shots to the head.
A hard right from Lenhart knocked Ali's mouthpiece out of the ring with 20
seconds left in the second round and Lenhart hurt Ali with a left-right
combination in the third. Ali rallied to take the final three rounds with
more decisive and disciplined punches, especially to Lenhart's body, as both tired to the
point where they looked nearly exhausted by the end of the bout.
"I am a little disappointed that I couldn't knock her out and that I got hit
too much," said Ali after the fight. Marvin Lenhart had warned several days
earlier that "this is the biggest mistake Ali's camp has made",
and for the first three rounds it had seemed that way as the 34-year old Lenhart
had pressed the action and landed the harder shots.
Lenhart was disappointed with her performance against Ali, saying "I did a
terrible job tonight. She fought a great fight and was in great shape. She is
definitely a tough fighter, but I really think I could have done better. She
stayed with her game plan. She was a better woman tonight."
On April 19, 2001 at the Civic Center in Beaumont, Texas,
Kendra (164½ lbs) showed that her first win over Valerie Mahfood was no fluke!
Lenhart KO'd the favored "Wolfe" (168 lbs) at 1:07 into
the second round of a scheduled ten-rounder for the vacant WIBF Super-Middleweight (168-lb) title
after knocking Mahfood down three times for eight counts. Some boxing commentators, perhaps
discounting Kendra's KO potential, saw this result as a total surprise, but Lenhart had been quietly confident in a pre-fight interview.
Lenhart moved to 7-8-1 (7 KO's) while Mahfood fell to 11-4 and retained the WIBF 175-lb title.
Kendra was named WBAN's Fighter of the Month for May 2001.
On July 20, 2001 at Crystal Park Casino in Compton, California,
5'10" Canadian-born Marsha Valley (171 lbs) of Los Angeles
TKO'd Kendra (171 lbs) at 1:59 in the third round of a scheduled six-rounder.
Valley knocked Lenhart down near the end of the second round with a right
to the head. Lenhart looked tired by the third round and Valley unleashed a barrage of unanswered punches to end
the fight with Lenhart slumped in the ropes. Lenhart took a standing eight count
as the bell rang and the referee called a halt. WBAN correspondent
Brian Low said that Lenhart wasn't aggressive and Valley was able to do what
she wanted in the ring.
Valley moved to 7-5-4, (3 KO's) while Lenhart slipped to 7-9-1 (7 KO's). (Also
see the fight report by
Craig O written for the Women's Boxing Page.)
On June 7, 2002 at DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi
Kendra (175 lbs) won a TKO at 1:29 of the second round over Lisa McFarland (205
lbs) of East Point, Georgia,
who was unable to continue after the first round. This badly-matched bout was on the undercard of
Laila Ali's comeback bout after her shoulder surgery. It was the first in which Lenhart fought
on a card promoted by Ali's husband. McFarland fell to 2-3 (1 KO).
Kendra, WIBF President Barbara Buttrick, and Jacqui Frazier-Lyde
pose before the Lenhart-Lyde WIBF title fight
On December 13, 2002 at World Fitness Center Gym in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
a crowd estimated at 1200 saw
Jacqui Frazier-Lyde (165 lbs)
win a ten-round unanimous (99-90,98-91,98-91) decision over Kendra to take the WIBF
super middleweight title away from Kendra (and add the vacant GBU 168-pound title to
Frazier-Lyde's collection). Frazier-Lyde knocked Lenhart down
with a big right in the third and controlled the rest of the bout.
"I should have used my boxing skills," said Frazier-Lyde after the fight.
"Kendra is ... tough
... it was unbelievable the amount of punches she took."
Said Lenhart: "Jacqui is a good strong
fighter and hits real hard." Lenhart says she was knocked
out on her feet in the first round and was surprised by Frazier-Lyde's
speed and power. Frazier-Lyde advanced to 10-1-0 (9 KO) while Lenhart fell to 8-10-1 (8 KO).
Kendra with Jacqui Frazier Lyde after their title fight
Lenhart played basketball and threw the discus for Delta State University and she holds
Mississippi power-lifting records. "I've always been an athlete" she told
Jackson, Mississippi reporter Rick Cleveland, adding that she'd be doing roadwork, weightlifting
and endless sit-ups whether she was boxing or not. "I've always stayed in shape ... I've always enjoyed
competition. I'm used to the rigors of training. I actually enjoy it."
Kendra's boxing career has been full of KO's ... her opponents or hers ...
but she also said "I've gotten hurt worse sparring than anything else.
When you get hit real hard, it's like whiplash. Your neck hurts. That's the worst part."
Kendra and Marvin, a former Southern Mississppi
football player who builds log houses, have three children, a boy and two girls.
Other Kendra Lenhart links
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records Member Site
Page last updated:
Sunday December 16, 2012