The biggest fight this coming weekend is the WBC junior middleweight title clash from Mexico, airing live in the United States on HBO, between Canelo Alvarez and Puerto Rico's Kermit Cintron.
The fight has been criticized, and rightly so, as another hand-picked fight for Alvarez, this time under the guise of Cintron being the fighter he was supposed to be years ago. Cintron been absent from HBO airwaves since May 2010, when he bizarrely dove out of the ring against Paul Williams, laying motionless on the ground until he was strapped onto a stretcher (at which point he protested the fact that the fight would go to the judges' scorecards on four rounds of action).
Since that time, he's fought just twice. He was signed by Top Rank this year and matched with Carlos Molina on the Rios vs Antillon undercard on July 9. With Showtime televising, Cintron was manhandled by the light-punching Molina. The Cintron-Top Rank relationship didn't last long, but Cintron did return to the ring on August 12, beating Antwone Smith in an uninspiring performance on Friday Night Fights.
The fact is, Golden Boy, no matter what they say, has signed up Cintron for this fight because they do not feel he's a threat. In his July and August fights, he showed no punching power with catchweights just north of welterweight, but south of junior middle.
Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KO) has stopped just one opponent since 2007, and that was Brazilian third-rater Juliano Ramos. Like Zab Judah, an examination of Cintron's actual record, the cold hard results of his career, reveals a pretty stunning lack of notable wins.
"We picked (Cintron) because he’s the next step in Canelo’s development," stated Eric Gomez, Golden Boy Promotions Vice President and matchmaker. "Kermit Cintron is a legitimate top fighter. He deserves to be on this stage."
It would, of course, be interesting to hear Gomez explain how Kermit Cintron is at this point a "legitimate top fighter," or why Cintron deserves to be on this stage, when Golden Boy could have easily called up the guy who nearly shut out Cintron over 10 rounds all of four months ago.
Golden Boy could have made a lot of fights. They chose Cintron because he's not a threat anymore, or at least, they believe he's not a threat. And as I've said before, that's fine -- Canelo is 21 years old. He fights much better opposition than most 21-year-olds do, including Cintron and Matt Hatton and Alfonso Gomez and the ragged remains of Carlos Baldomir.
"He's the next step" would be acceptable. But as always, promoterspeak oversteps reality a moment later. Cintron is truly, truly no longer a top fighter.
As for Cintron himself, he's been working with "Splenda" Shane Mosley in camp:
"Mosley spent a few days with Kermit and really helped him work on speed. When those two guys sparred, it was a war. Cintron looks great. He looked like the same fighter who blew away Walter Matthysse [in July 2007]," (an) insider said.
- What's so great about blowing away Walter Matthysse? What'd he ever do? It was a great knockout, but so are a lot of knockouts.
- Is it good or bad to have "a war" in sparring with Mosley at this point?
- Anyone still guessing Canelo vs Mosley happens in 2012?