1975-10-11 Angel Espada w pts 15 Johnny Gant, Ponce Arena, San Juan, Puerto Rico - WBA
1975-10-11 Angel Espada w pts 15 Johnny Gant, Ponce Arena, San Juan, Puerto Rico - WBA. Waldemar Schmidt. Scorecards: 145-142, 149-139, 147-140. Making his first defence Espada (143½) was supposed to have met Tony Petronelli, but when the latter got himself injured Gant (144) stepped in and did reasonably well before going down on points. Unfortunately, with two counter punchers on display it turned into something of a bore. Apart from that, Gant, who suffered a cut left eye in the fifth, had great difficulty in opening Espada up. In the third round Espada hurt Gant but was unable to finish him, and he opened up again in the tenth, 11th and 14th rounds with combinations without success before the contest ran its course.
Having been sidelined through illness and managerial problems, Espada came back to stop Alfonso Hayman in the eighth round at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan on 27 April 1976 in a warm-up bout before making his second defence, against Pipino Cuevas.