Margarito-Cintron III: A Fight for Redemption
By Ralph Rimpell, Doghouse Boxing (June 30, 2010) Photo © Howard Schatz  
The boxing world has recently learned that newly crowned WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez has elected to campaign at middleweight and vacate his WBC junior middleweight championship. A proposed third fight between former foes Antonio “The Tijuana Tornado” Margarito 38-6 (27) and Kermit “The Killer” Cintron 32-3 (28) is being seriously discussed for Martinez’s vacant championship. Aside from a proposed on-off-on-off Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather fight, this fight is arguably the most interesting matchup in boxing today. Why? Didn’t Margarito convincingly defeat Cintron twice by TKO in 2005 and 2008? Those of us who follow the sport of boxing closely know that Margarito is currently on suspension having been suspended for “loaded gloves” (illegal inserts in his hand wraps) prior to a match up, which he lost by TKO, against Shane Mosley back in July 2008. Margarito contends that he is innocent and blames his trainer for the incident. He has since fired his trainer and is now being coached by retired former world champion Robert Garcia. In light of the incident, Cintron has accused Margarito of using “loaded gloves” in their two fights citing this is the reason he lost both times. He asserts he therefore has never truly been defeated by him and in regards to a third fight with Margarito; his response was that Margarito can “kiss his ass”. Since his last loss to Margarito, Cintron has amassed a record of 3-1-1. He has a bizarre loss and controversial draw to elite fighters Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez. The only noteworthy win was against Alfredo Angulo. Who is Kermit Cintron?

This is a fighter who earlier in his career had the backing of Main Events, a former boxing promotional powerhouse. He appeared to be a can’t miss prospect who was capable of being star in the welterweight division. He was matched carefully with the right opponents to build his professional record and to gain experience like any prospect. He was 24-0 when he defeated the capable Teddy Reid for the interim WBO welterweight title. He was then matched against Margarito for the actual WBO title in a fight that most boxing experts picked him to win. Margarito disposed of him surprisingly in the 5th round. What made matters worse was Cintron began weeping in the ring after the loss. With a new trainer and a new attitude Cintron fought the right opponents and once again found himself fighting for a world title (the vacant IBF strap) and finally became a champion. He granted Margarito a rematch going into the fight as champion. This is a fight that Cintron threw everything in his arsenal and “the kitchen sink” at Margarito only to be stopped in the 6th round this time. Cintron came to a conclusion then that Margarito was simply a better fighter then him. Or was he really? Who is Antonio Margarito?

This is a fighter who was born in California but was raised in the poverty of Mexico. In order to help his family financially, he turned to professional boxing at the age of 15. He unlike his current boxing peers in the welterweight and junior middleweight division did not have the benefit of an amateur career. He lost his 6th, 10th, and 12th professional fight. He was 26-3 when he became WBO world champion. He has since won two more world titles (IBF and WBA) in the welterweight division defeating the likes of Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey, while losing to Williams and Mosley all of whom are current or former world champions. This is a fighter that most boxing critics seem to never acknowledge his accomplishments, but rather focus on his weaknesses as a fighter. After he defeated Cotto in spectacular fashion, he was at the threshold of greatness. His critics begrudgingly gave him his just due as an elite fighter in the welterweight division. His destruction of Cotto was the apparent reason why Mayweather did not want to fight him. All that came to an end when he was caught with plaster like substances in his hand wraps before he was to face and subsequently lose to Mosley. No one is excusing Margarito’s behavior. However, the industry questioned every notable victory (ex. Cotto, Cintron, Clottey, Martinez, etc.) he has on his boxing record. Any other fighter who has tested positive for illegal substances, or has had hand wrap issues has not come under the same scrutiny that Margarito has. Margarito has professed his innocents. He has recently fought in Mexico and won after being denied for reinstatement of his boxing license in the United States. This was his first fight after the loss to Mosley. According to inside sources, his suspension will soon be lifted and he will soon regain his boxing license,

A proposed third fight between Margarito-Cintron makes perfect sense. Some critics will say that Cintron is “damaged goods” because of the two brutal losses against Margarito. Are these medical critics? In the boxing interviews that I have seen Cintron in lately this writer has not observed any slurred speech or incoherent talk. He has to undergo and pass a physical before fighting, which he has done. What is more Cintron did not appear to be physically damaged when he defeated Alfredo Angulo or in his bizarre loss to Williams. This writer does not hold a medical degree, but is a licensed Registered Nurse in the state of New York (please check NYS Office of Professions.com). If there are any questions regarding his emotional state (loss of confidence from the losses) that is something true champions overcome. The Williams camp believes that Cintron quit in their last fight and will not grant him a rematch. So who else is there to fight for a world title and earn good financial compensation other than Margarito? Imagine how much it would help Cintron’s career and confidence if he were to defeat Margarito and win a world title in the process. On the other hand imagine how it would be a step in the right direction for Margarito to clear his name in the ring if he were to once again destroy Cintron as he had twice before in past without being accused of using” loaded gloves”. Then Imagine Margarito and Cotto, the newly crowned WBA junior middleweight champion, unifying the 154lb division and Margarito once again destroys Cotto. Or even Cintron-Pacquaio, or Cintron-Cotto. These fights would really be good for boxing and the fans. These reasons dear reader are why this fight should take place. For Margarito-Cintron III if there is no draw, no controversial ending, but a clear winner, this fight would truly be a fight of redemption for one of these two fighters.

Contact Ralph Rimpell: RLuvsboxing@aol.com

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