When: Saturday, May 8, 2010
Where: Home Depot Center in Carson, California
TV: HBO at 9:45 p.m. (EST)
Weight Class: Junior Middleweight: 12 Rounds
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Paul Williams, 38-1 (27 KOs), Augusta, Georgia. Vs. Kermit Cintron, 32-2-1 (28 KOs), Houston, Texas/Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Fight Odds: Paul Williams (-600), Kermit Cintron (+400)
Preview: Paul Williams and Kermit Cintron fight this Saturday on HBO in a junior middleweight bout scheduled for 12 rounds. Outside of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Paul Williams is really the man in this weight area. While his days at welterweight are probably over, he has been making noise at 160 lbs. lately, with wins over Winky Wright and Sergio Martinez. Cintron is on a nice run himself. After losing for the second time to Antonio Margarito, he has managed a draw against Sergio Martinez and a career-saving win over highly-touted and undefeated Alfredo Angulo.
Williams is looking better and better all the time. His win over Martinez in a grueling and close contest looks better after Martinez’ win over Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik. Williams has lost only once and avenged that defeat by 1st round knockout. He holds wins over Martinez, Wright, and Antonio Margarito—a solid resume. He is a tough assignment for any fighter. Very tall at 6’1”, he has a reach of 82 inches! That’s a heavyweight reach. In fact, only a few heavyweight champions had a reach longer than Williams’. He is also unusually able to fight on the inside. He isn’t rickety like most towering fighters at these weights. He gets in there and mixes it up with a workload that is suffocating to his opponents.
At 28, Williams represents the future. Mayweather is 33, Manny isn’t far behind, and Williams figure to head the class of the next superstars. He just needs to keep winning. The Martinez struggle was a near slip-up, but Williams really showed a lot in that fight. We now all know what a masterful and gutsy champion Martinez is. For Williams to be able to reverse momentum at exactly the right time to cruise home a narrow decision winner showed a new dimension in his repertoire. He was able to find answers against an opponent who was really dominating him. In those early rounds, Williams was being made to look silly by Martinez’ clever counters and savvy ring generalship. When the going got tough, Williams dug in there and started working hard. His workrate tipped the momentum in his favor and he was given the close decision in a fight that could have gone either way.
I think Cintron is also worthy of praise. I saw him as an over-hyped and somewhat-manufactured fighter who was exposed in two stoppage losses to Antonio Margarito. He seemed extremely fortuitous to earn a draw against the same Sergio Martinez. He was actually knocked out! The referee counted him out, but Cintron’s corner was somehow able to successfully lobby to the referee that there was an illegal blow landed. The fight continued on. Cintron actually got his legs under him and fought commendably for the duration of the bout. He didn’t deserve a draw, but those things happen in boxing.
He was considered to be an easy touch for the fierce prospect Alfredo Angulo. Cintron outfoxed his opponent to win a unanimous decision. It was really surprising to see Cintron resort to a more clever and moving style of boxing to confuse and offset Angulo. He had built his reputation as a bombs-away slugger and many observers thought he was not capable of showing that type of versatility. After the victory, word came down from Angulo’s camp that he was sick entering the fight. Well, not every night is going to be perfect for a pro boxer. On that night, Cintron was better and that’s all that counts. Capricious efforts to cheapen the win should be disregarded. What happened that night had a lot to do with Kermit Cintron.
Scotty L's Pick: Most people are writing off Cintron. When we remember how Martinez dumped Williams on his bottom in their fight, it’s not impossible to imagine Williams having problems if Cintron manages to catch him with something big. With all respect to Cintron, who is a good fighter, Williams might be a class above. He will use his enormous 10-inch advantage in reach to pepper Cintron on the outside. Williams will start laying heavy leather on Cintron, who will begin to show a dent in his resolve. I expect Kermit to show guts and keep firing hard shots in an effort to turn it around, but Williams’ attack will be the one with more truth to it. I see a battered Cintron getting rescued by his corner or the referee sometime around the 9th round. Lay the –600 on Paul Williams to win.
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