Once upon a time not so long ago, Kermit Cintron was one of the few boxers revered by Puerto Ricans like me, as a great hopeful to add to the long lineage of exquisite Puerto Rican fighters.
That dream is now over, along with the Kermit Cintron’s legitimacy as a high-level prize fighter. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez knocked out Cintron with ease, which should be the end of Cintron’s career as a boxer.
Kermit Cintron showed great potential early on in his career. He took up boxing at the age of 19, and he looked like a natural. He made a name for himself in 2004 by beating fringe contender Teddy Reid. His next fight came against Antonio Margarito, which resulted in a rough fifth round TKO defeat. Regardless of the fact that he lost, Cintron gained a lot of respect in the boxing world for offering Margarito a slugfest that showcased two hungry and talented boxers.
Kermit Cintron rebounded from the Margarito fight with impressive wins against respectable pugilists such as David Estrada and Walter Mattysse. Although he once again lost to Margarito after capturing the IBF welterweight title against Jesse Feliciano, he eventually followed his defeat with a draw against Sergio Martinez and a decision victory against Alfredo “el Perro” Angulo. Life once again looked encouraging for Kermit Cintron.
In 2010, Cintron’s inability to continue against Paul Williams after falling out of the ring in the fourth round, and a disappointing loss to Carlos Molina started to give boxing fans the idea that Cintron’s talents as a fighter were beginning to wane.
Tonight was Cintron’s last chance to establish himself as one of the great Puerto Rican boxers of all time.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
Cintron came to the ring looking like an old fighter. Instead of brandishing a freshly shaved head like most of his recent fights, Cintron came to the ring with a closely cropped balding head of hair that made him look much older than 32.
Although his body seemed trimmed, he looked more emaciated than powerful. He threw light jabs throughout the fight, but seemed incapable of putting his punches together in combinations. He looked like an amateur.
When Cintron was able to offer up a right, it looked like it lacked the power that once seemed so prominent early on in his career. Cintron looked weak in the ring and became very winded in the closing rounds.
Alvarez looked good tagging Cintron with shots that hurt, but he had a lot of help from “father time.” In the end, Alvarez dropped Cintron once in the fourth, which almost ended the fight, and would go on to punish Cintron until referee Hector Afu came to his rescue, ending the fight in the fifth.
There is no doubt in my mind that Cintron should retire. It’s true that “Canelo” Alvarez is a great young fighter, but he didn’t have to do much against a faded Cintron. Cintron at one point had a lot of promise, but his age has caught up with him. He has taken a lot of punishment over the years and now it is his time to fade off into the sunset. He was good, but never became the special fighter that the Puerto Rican people wished that he would become.
I hope that he will watch this fight and realize that he is a shell of the fighter he was when he fought Margarito. When it comes to summing up his career, all I can say is that he was good but never great.
Farewell, Kermit. I hope you enjoy retirement.