It was an unlucky night for Jr. Middleweight contender Kermit Cintron (32-3-1, 28 KO’s) at the Home Depot Center in Carson California where his improved boxing skills were on his side but luck wasn’t. Cintron was neutralizing Paul “The Punisher” Williams (39-1, 27 KO’s) for all of three rounds. Cintron out boxed Williams and calmly established a functional distance from which to strike with counter punches that forced Williams to fight at Cintron’s pace and tempo. It wasn’t until the beginning of the fourth round that Williams started to up the tempo. In the early part of the fourth round, Cintron fell out of the ring and was hurt. In California , if a fight goes three rounds, it gets scored.
It was an unusual fight for Williams in that it was more like a chess match than Rock-em, Sock-em robots, where brutal ass whoopings are the Daily Special for Williams’ guests in the ring. The crowd booed when the action got slowed by the midway point of the second round. Cintron was fighting better than I’ve ever seen him, even better than he was against Alfredo Angulo one year ago.
Paul Williams is definitely one of the best fighters in all of boxing. He uses his size well and is amazingly athletic. He never ducks anybody and he can fight 12 rounds at full throttle, where he imposes his will on fighters and breaks them down.
Cintron was able to deal effectively with Williams by out boxing him the way Carlos Quintana did when he issued Williams his first loss back in February ’08. It should be noted that Williams came back and beat Quintana by KO 1 in their rematch.
Cintron boxed inside and outside and landed good counter punches that kept Williams away from his usual forte of blistering, non-stop offense. Williams jabbed pretty poorly in this fight and paid when he missed. It smelled like a potential upset by the time the third round saw the usually stiff Cintron looking agile and fluid ala Sergio Martinez, who drew another blueprint for how to beat Williams.
I thought Martinez beat Williams by a couple of rounds, but it’s not always a matter of who actually wins the fight so much as who the Judges are going to support if a fight with a big name guy goes the distance. It’s not that mysterious.
By the fourth round, Williams was beginning to pick up the pace and force Cintron backwards and towards the ropes. As the action heated up, suddenly, during an awkward exchange, Williams’ arm wrapped around Cintron’s neck and Williams fell backward into the ropes. Cintron, from the momentum of the movements, sprung around Williams and nearly dived out of the ring and onto a scorer’s table at ringside. It looked like he might’ve hit some monitors on the table before he fell to the ground, where he lay motionless with his weight on his left side, facing down.
Cintron technically had five minutes to return to the ring before losing by TKO. Considering the freakish nature of the fall and Cintron looking hurt, the fight was stopped. And while the medics attended Cintron, strapping him to a gurney with special bracings for his neck and his head being taped to the gurney; the official Judges were tallying up their scores. This should’ve been a No Contest, since four rounds were not completed but hey, what do I know? I know that the California boxing rules should be consistent with the unified rules of boxing applied world wide. This fight should be refought and the results of this 3.1 round fight that ended on an accident, should not blemish the record of either man.
Either way, the scores were 39-37 and 40-36 for Paul Williams and 40-36 for Cintron. I can’t see how they could score the fourth round when it didn’t last more than half a minute. They must’ve counted the time it took while Cintron was laid out on the floor outside the ring after accidentally falling through the ropes. I also don’t understand how the guy who landed the more telling punches lost the majority of three rounds, all of which I saw Cintron winning, albeit closely.
In the end, Paul Williams was interviewed and he expressed concern for Cintron’s health. He said (in the spirit of competition), that he wanted to see Cintron go down from his fists, not from an accident. He also admitted that he was just starting to ‘heat up’ by the time the accident occurred. This fight deserves an immediate rematch if Cintron is physically cleared to make it happen. According to Cintron’s camp, he hit his head and that was why the medics took him off to the hospital. Let’s hope he turns out okay.
During the post fight interview, Williams was asked if this result was unsatisfying and he said, “I want the fans to get their money’s worth. I wanted him to get hurt from my punches. My game plan was to come in slow in this fight.”
Williams was then asked who he wants to fight next and he was quick to say, “I want to fight Mayweather or Pacman. If Martinez calls me out it’s a done deal.”
You gotta love Paul Williams! The man is not afraid of anyone. I doubt Floyd would fight Williams. Hell, I thought Mayweather retired just to avoid Williams a couple of years ago. But Floyd has proven that he can deal with legit Welterweights after his impressive beating of (the carefully tested for PED’s) Shane Mosley, who hurt Floyd in the second round and then proceeded to lose every round from three to twelve. Mayweather has the kind of skills that can turn old guys even older. Williams, at 28 years old is simply too young for Floyd to even consider. That opinion is based on careful observations of how Floyd has managed his career to this point. Frankly, I think Floyd beats Williams. He’s THAT good. But it still won’t happen. Too risky.
I can’t imagine Williams vs. Pacman. It would drive the camera crew insane trying to keep them in the same picture, Williams being over six feet tall and little Manny Pacquiao, who stands at what, five foot six inches tall? It’d be David vs. Goliath for sure. Only they don’t allow sling shots in the ring.
Former Middleweight titlist Kelly Pavlik will no longer campaign at 160, as he can no longer make that weight, so that frees up Sergio Martinez to fight a rematch with Paul Williams as soon as can be arranged. In their first fight, Martinez and Williams both scored knockdowns in the first round. While some may believe Williams beat Martinez , even the most biased fan has to admit it was a close fight. I don’t take bribes or drink enough booze to know how professional boxing Judges arrive at their scores but we all know they tend to favor the favorites. Surely Williams would be the favorite, which means Martinez would have to win by knockout. That’s a tall order against a great fighter like Williams. But if anyone can do it, Sergio is likely the man. Sergio beat Cintron, knocked him out for the count but Cintron was amazingly allowed to continue and went on to lose the remaining rounds. The official Judges scored the fight a Draw! Imagine that?