Is Kermit Cintron a Beaten Man?

By Teron Briggs on August 11, 2011
Is Kermit Cintron a Beaten Man?
The talk of big fights down the road has dwindled into a deafening silence

Cintron had sunglasses on, ostensibly to hide the marks on his face, but the dark glasses failed to conceal his weariness and despair…

Kermit Cintron has a record of four losses, and one draw, in 37 career bouts with 28 of his 32 wins coming by way of knockout. At age 31, he’s already scaled the proverbial boxing mountaintop by capturing a major world title and a number of minor belts. But things are looking precarious for the former champion.

Tonight, August 12, Cintron faces Antwone Smith (20-2-1, 12 KOs) on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. It’s a fight that even his trainer, Ronnie Shields, admits could end Cintron’s career. When you’ve lost two straight nationally televised bouts, one in which you flopped out of the ring in less than four rounds and another where you lost a lopsided decision to a fringe contender, it’s nothing less than a must-win situation.

Cintron’s slide began two fights ago with a disappointing loss to Paul Williams on May 8, 2010. After a few uneventful rounds, during which Williams seemed to be landing the cleaner punches, the action began heating up in round four.

Both fighters landed some good shots, with Williams again getting the better of the exchanges. Then the fighters’ feet got tangled up and in that one game changing moment, Cintron went through ropes onto a ringside table. After doctors deemed him unable to continue, Cintron was carried out of the arena on a stretcher to boos and catcalls from the sparse crowd. The fight went to the scorecards, where Williams was awarded a technical decision.

Cintron’s people will tell you he’s going to win Friday night because he has everything to lose if he doesn’t. But the same could have been said before his last fight.

On July 9, 2011, Cintron returned to the site of the Williams debacle, the Carson Home Depot Center, to redeem his reputation, climb back into title contention, and prove the last loss was a fluke. Cintron’s promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum, was even confident enough to mention him as a possible future opponent for not only his fellow Puerto Rican compatriot Miguel Cotto, but for the reigning pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquaio, as well. But what was supposed to be Cintron’s big comeback was instead a lackluster performance against the unheralded Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 KOs). Most ringside observers barely gave Cintron two of the 10 scheduled rounds. The talk of big fights down the road has since dwindled into a deafening silence.

Cintron, to his credit, didn’t ask for a soft touch in his return to the ring tomorrow night, just a month following the disastrous loss to Molina. Many top fighters might have taken on light opposition in an off-TV fight in an attempt to rebuild their confidence. But Cintron is stepping back into the spotlight against a fighter that has only been stopped once in 23 career bouts.

I had the opportunity to see Cintron fight live at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, the night Antonio Margarito knocked him out in round six. It was the second time in as many fights Citron had been KO’d, the second time in as many fights that he wilted under pressure as the fight wore on.

I saw Cintron at the hotel parking valet the following morning. Unlike most fighters, he wasn’t surrounded by a large entourage, and even loaded his own luggage into a car. He had sunglasses on, ostensibly to hide the marks on his face sustained in a brutal fight, but the dark glasses failed to conceal his weariness and despair.

Cintron was heading home a beaten man.

Antwone Smith, in his five-year pro career, hasn’t shown himself to be a world-class talent, but he’s always in shape and his will to win is unrelenting. Cintron possesses more natural talent and has faced better opposition than his opponent, but natural talent alone doesn’t win fights. There are intangibles, and at this point in his career we’re left to wonder whether Cintron has enough left in the tank to beat a rugged and hungry fighter like Antwone Smith.

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Paul Williams vs Kermit Cintron

Antonio Margarito vs Kermit Cintron part 1

Antonio Margarito vs Kermit Cintron part 2.avi

Antonio Margarito vs Kermit Cintron part 3

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  1. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:52pm, 08/12/2011

    Molina is a very underrated fighter who can make many experienced fighters look bad.  Look what he did to Mora.  Banking on Cintron being done due to how he looked against the uber-active Molina is a bad bet.  Cintron might be toast for any number of reasons but placing too much emphasis on the Molina bout is a mistake.

  2. The Thresher 06:20am, 08/12/2011

    His last opponent, Molina, would beat Kermit 7 out of 10 times.

  3. Joe 04:07am, 08/12/2011

    Kermit looked like a real champ a few (3-4) years ago but since that debacle in Carson against the Punisher he just doesn’t look the same.  Something isn’t there.  His last outting was simply embarrassing, looking for the one punch KO against a guy he should have beat the stuffing out of.  I hope he doesn’t get hurt because he’s taking fights in Harrisburg due to his name recognition.

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