Kent Knowles was almost killed at age three when the Wichita Falls Tornado of 1964 roared through the North Texas countryside. He was a passenger in the car his mother was driving along FM 151 headed toward the family storm shelter. But the driver of a car coming from the other direction veered into their lane. Kent’s mother Roberta had to drive off the road in an effort to avoid a head on collison.
When she drove off the road their car plowed into a pole which killed her and left Kent toddling down FM 151 alone. From the tragic loss of his mother at such an early age, he has made quite a life for himself qualilfying for the Olympic boxing team in 1980. Unfortunately, that was the same year then President Jimmy Carter decided he would teach the Russians a lesson by boycotting the Olympics. Unfortunately, Carter’s action also punished one of the best boxers to come from Wichita Falls. His plane trip to the Moscow Olympics was cancelled, and he was denied the opportunity to gain Olympic gold.
He had another legitimate shot at qualifying for the Olympics in 1984 but his jaw was broken in the finals of the Olympic qualifying bouts in Colorado Springs that year. He said he never lost a fight in Wichita Falls during an impressive Golden Gloves career. His final record was 310 wins and 50 losses.
“I never lost a fight in Wichita Falls. But when we got down to Fort Worth, there were always some great boxers,” he said.
Born in Wichita Falls in 1960, Knowles accumulated an impressive 90 knockouts during his amazing career.
He said it was in 1973 when his barber Will Bonham recommended Kent try his hand at boxing. After watching Kent work out on a punching bag, Bonham told him he had the ability to be an outstanding boxer.
A 1979 graduate of Wichita Falls High School, Kent has come back from the adversities in his life to enter the bail bond business in Wichita Falls. His dad Ken Knowles worked at PPG for 10 years before changing jobs and switching to Sentinel Bail Bonds. It took him a couple years to learn the business before he launched his own business called Central Bail Bonds in 1978.
He was elected president of Professional Bail Bonds of Texas and served in that capacity for several years. He passed away in 2009.
Kent said it was his dad who introduced him into the world of bail bonds. His dad said to him one day, “Take this bond down to city jail and get this guy out.”
Kent was 18 when that happened.
He graduated from WFHS in 1979 after attending Zundy and Alamo Elementary Schools.
He has three children Koby, age 27: Kennzi, age 19 and Jack age 18.
He said he met his current wife Tawnya as the result of a prayer. She asked a good friend to pray that she find a good Christian man. The friend was Nikki of Nikki Bail Bonds who promptly contacted Kent. The rest is history.
Kent currently owns the Kent Knowles Bail Bond Company at 1101 Scott Avenue, Wichita Falls, Texas in the Fritz Building. He also owns Central Bail Bonds of Decatur and Plainview as well as the Andale Bail Bonds of Dneton and Lubbock. He also owns Budget Bail Bond of Amarillo.
As for the upcoming classic fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, he hopes Pacquiao wins. Knowles can be contacted at 767-2245 by anybody who wants to discuss the big fight.