Kermit Cintron vs Antonio Margarito II: The Boxing difference between Greatness and Gate Keeper
By Phil Santos, (Feb 3, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)  
When they first met Antonio Margarito was already an established champion with four title defenses on his resume. Kermit Cintron was an undefeated up and comer with 23 knockouts in 24 fights as a pro. Although Margarito held an edge in experience and quality opponents faced it was Cintron who appeared to be the future. Five rounds and four knockdowns later Margarito had erased any doubt as to who the preeminent fighter was. Not only did Margarito drop Cintron four times, and add a serious blemish to his previously perfect record, but he cast a shadow of doubt over the future of the once prized prospect.

Since suffering his first, and only, career loss at the hands of Antonio Margarito in 2005, Kermit Cintron has bounced back by rattling off five consecutive victories. Impressively all five wins came by way of knockout and more importantly during that same stretch Cintron captured the vacant IBF title by stopping Mark Suarez.

Margarito has fought four times since dominating Cintron, compiling a record of 3-1 (2). His lone defeat came courtesy of Paul Williams and cost Margarito his WBO championship belt. His most noteworthy victory, since beating Cintron, came against Joshua Clottey. Margarito dug himself out of an early hole against Clottey to score a Unanimous Decision.

On April 12th Antonio Margarito and Kermit Cintron are scheduled to do it again. Once again their clash will culminate with one fighter leaving the ring a champion and the other leaving many questions as to what their future holds in the sport. This time the roles are reversed, Cintron defends his belt and Margarito seeks the title.

Kermit Cintron has constantly had his heart called into question. His poor performance against Margarito coupled with,
more recently, his pulling out of a fight with Paul Williams, citing injuries to his hand, have led people to believe that Cintron is more hype than substance. After his last fight, a 10th round knockout win over Jesse Feliciano, Cintron crumpled to the canvas in pain. The power puncher claimed to have hurt his right hand some time during the 1st round. That fight took place on Nov. 23rd, just more than two months ago. Cintron will surely need that hand to be fully healed if he is to stand any chance against Margarito.

This fight will determine how history remembers Kermit Cintron. A loss would be disastrous. At 28 years old Cintron needs to be establishing his legacy now if he ever hopes to be considered a great fighter. If he drops another fight to Margarito you can pretty much forget it. In the brutal business that is professional boxing 28 years old is damn near your peak. To think that Cintron could afford to lose this fight and proceed to reclaim championship status is highly implausible.

For Margarito the consequences are far less dire. He has had a respectable run as a world champion, including seven successful title defenses, owns an impressive 35-5 (25) record and will most likely be remembered as a heavy handed, iron chinned fighter who spent years of his career being avoided by many of his peers. Yes a loss would be disappointing, but would it be enough to tarnish his legacy? No definitely not. A win on the other hand would mark the beginning of another championship reign for Margarito and would undoubtedly make him relevant, if he isn’t already, in the conversation when discussing the best fighters of his era.

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