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Kermit Cintron: Contender or Pretender?
By Ben Franco (April 30, 2004) 
Kermit Cintron
The old Oxford dictionary states it like this, “To claim or allege something untrue; to make believe, as in play.” Play? Yeah right, I wonder if any of the boys down at Oxford could associate playing or pretension with Kermit Cintron’s right cross or uppercut. Maybe we could ask Alexis Perez, Patrick Thorns or Hicklet Lau for their opinions or maybe you guys are like me and have made up your own minds, thinking the kid has the goods, but only time will tell.

When it comes to judging if a fighter fits into the club scene or if he truly belongs on the world stage there must be a few tangibles laid out on the table. Boxing skills, power, speed and an unquenchable thirst for victory are good places to start. Toughness, stamina, and a heart as big as Secretariat are pretty good attributes as well and if current form is any indication, Kermit Cintron looks set to continue his run towards the a championship belt in the welterweight division is certain.

When it comes to fighting “The Killer” I can associate it with that proverbial scene from the old time movies where one of the cars from a getaway scene either gets stuck, or runs out of gas. The car is on top of the train crossing, with the massive headlights from the locomotive bearing down on the occupants of it. As they sit there, while they’re trying as hard as possible to get the car started or get out of the way of the beating, they’re about to take, but in the end, they realize that the task is enormous and eventually impossible.

For starters, one thing that stands out immediately about the 22-0 (20 KO’s) record of this guy is his power. With twenty whacks out of twenty two starts and only two guys, Leon Pearson and Jesus Valverde, finishing a fight with him while only two guys in Valverde again along with Hicklet Lau making it past the ninth round, power doesn’t appear to be an area that Cintron has to work on.

Now that Ricardo Mayorga has out grown or out eaten the welterweight division and Vernon Forrest temporarily sidelined with an injury while Zab Judah and Cory Spinks sorted out the honors for boss of the division there seems to be a splinter of light splitting the darkness. That light is on the title aspirations of one of the cleanest, pure punchers to come along in the welterweight division in years. Another thing that Kermit has on his side is his pure size, with a lot of boxing commentators comparing his frame with that of a young Thomas Hearns. If this guy has a career half as successful as “The Hitman” I would venture to say, he would be very pleased to say the least.

Cintron started his amateur career as a spindly nineteen year old and complied a record of 24-4 with seventeen shorts before turning pro on the 7th October 2000 with a second round TKO of Jesse Williams.

After another eight consecutive knockouts, Kermit went six rounds with the durable Leon Pearson before racking up another nine straight whacks and taking on tough, but limited Jesus Valverde who he pounded with everything, but the kitchen sink enroute to earning a lopsided unanimous decision. It was only the forth time in twenty fights Cintron had been extended past the forth round.

On December 12th 2003, Cintron produced his most complete performance yet in his masterful display of how to do a demolition when he boxed beautifully to destroy Hicklet Lau inside of nine action filled rounds. A paralyzing overhand right nearly decapitated Lau and left him out on his feet. This was followed up with a four-punch combo, which caused Lau to sag to the canvas with the referee not even bothering to begin the count.

In Kermit’s most recent outing once again he managed to cause a few headaches when he detonated a few depth charges on poor old Humberto Aranda’s ribcage resulting in a forth-round knockdown that he was lucky to get up from. A final flurry in round five caused Aranda to crash into the canvas again causing the bout to end. Currently Cintron is scheduled to fight the Venezuelan tough guy Elio Ortiz (25-6 19 KO’s) on the May 1st at Ballys Casino, Atlantic City, NJ in what should be another test for the young banger.

So is Kermit Cintron a pretender or contender? I think only time and a number of fights against increasingly tougher opponents will give us a better indication of how far the kid can go, but at the moment, it looks like the world could become his oyster if he keeps those sledgehammer fists in motion. With that advice, he should eventually either dispel or confirm the rumor that Kermit Cintron is far from the pretender and speedily becoming the new contender in the welterweight division.
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