Kermit Cintron took a decision win tonight over Antwone Smith on ESPN Friday Night Fights, but definitely wasn't impressive enough to say that he's back in the swing of things.
Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KO) won on scores of 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94. Bad Left Hook scored it 96-94 for Smith, but this is not a "robbery" or anything. Many rounds were tough to score, very close and basically depended on whose attack you liked better.
Cintron was more active than usual, throwing a ton of punches by CompuBox statistics, but a lot of those weren't serious shots, and many were just pokey range-finders with his left hand. When Cintron did jab and keep some distance, he clearly was better than Smith. But inside, where Smith was able to take the fight pretty easily, it was a different story.
Even with the increased punch output, Cintron just doesn't look like he's the same fighter he used to be. He doesn't seem focused in the ring. He seems to lack any urgency, especially for a fight like this, which was a fight that could have all but ended his career. In the 10th round of what seemed like a close fight, Cintron was coasting and all but giving it away, even with trainer Ronnie Shields trying to rile him up before the round.
Cintron still doesn't look like a legitimate contender at 147 or 154, and I have to guess that fighters better than Smith would have a pretty easy time with him right now. Smith (20-3-1, 12 KO) fought like he always does, and will be back in these type fights soon enough.
In the night's co-feature, St. Louis-born, Youngstown-trained lightweight prospect Dannie Williams (19-1, 15 KO) blew up Antonio Cervantes (16-6-5, 11 KO) in the fourth round with a gorgeous, thunderous counter right hand. Cervantes didn't have much to offer in there, and Williams still has a lot of improvements to make, but there's natural talent (namely, speed) that speaks well of Williams' potential. Not a blue chipper, but he's worth watching.