Tonight's big main event in Mexico City lived up to one billing, and fell far short of the one the promoters tried to sell.
While Golden Boy and the WBC and everyone else involved in making money off the fight hyped Kermit Cintron as a veteran risk for young Canelo Alvarez, the money-making redhead, it has seemed somewhat clear for a while that Cintron just doesn't have it anymore -- whatever it ever was.
And tonight, Alvarez may have put the final nail in the coffin of Cintron's relevant boxing career.
Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KO) and Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KO) were both tentative in the opening two rounds, with Cintron flicking a jab out and Alvarez throwing a few combinations here and there. But in the third round and beyond, the tide turned toward the Mexican. It became very clear that for Alvarez, the first two rounds were a feeling out process. For Cintron, they were pretty much all he had in him.
Mentally and physically, Cintron, 32, looked weathered tonight. Once Alvarez hurt him in the fourth round, Cintron reeled, and took a knee. At the end of the round, Alvarez, 21, badly hurt Cintron again, and Kermit was held up by the ropes for a good eight or nine seconds after the bell before even trying to return to his corner.
It was at that point that referee Hector Afu of Panama rightly started to work cautiously. In the fifth, to his credit, Cintron came out throwing power shots. Kermit may indeed have left all he had left in the ring tonight, but the problem was he didn't have a lot left to leave.
With Cintron again taking clean power shots to the head and body, Afu stopped the fight at 2:53 of the fifth round, ending the night of a man brought in to be an opponent, who may have had the desire to be more than that, but just didn't have the juice left in his body to be more.
I hope this is the last time we see Cintron shoe-horned into a big fight. He's just not good enough, and he doesn't respond well to pressure. More troublesome, he seemed to physically respond poorly to taking clean punches anymore, and he might consider his future in the sport altogether, let alone at the top level.
Post-Fight: Canelo Wants Floyd
After the fight, Alvarez called out Floyd Mayweather Jr, and while many will dismiss it as a fight that Alvarez can't win, well, I hate to say I told you so, but it's the fight I still expect on May 5 if cooler, more reasonable heads can't prevail and the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight doesn't happen yet again. Alvarez is young, won't lose credibility being beaten by Floyd, and is worth a lot of money. His status as a cultural phenom would mean big business in Mexico and the U.S. -- I would almost guarantee that fight setting a new TV record in Mexico. The chance to see the youngster go after the top dog would be a huge deal.