There was nothing to gain, and everything to lose. I'm still not sure what in the world Kermit Cintron, Manny Steward and Main Events were thinking taking a fight with Jesse Feliciano on the Mayorga-Vargas undercard. One thing's for sure: they're regretting it now. Cintron was coming off an impressive KO victory over Walter Mathysse and a title unification fight against Paul Williams was essentially signed to take place the first Saturday of February. But, as you've all probably heard by now, Cintron injured his right hand in the fight and will be out of commission until March.
I think it's important to note that this fight was not mandatory. Though Feliciano certainly proved to be a tough opponent, he came in with a rather unimpressive 15-5-3 record. He may have fought his share of high-level competition, but the guy was 3-4-2 over his last 9 coming into the fight. Even if Cintron had knocked him out in the first round, what would that have proved? That he can knock out a guy who has already been knocked out three times in his career? Hell, Mike Arnoutis, who is much smaller than Cintron, stopped Feliciano in the first round, knocking him down three times. Kermit couldn't put him down once.
Before last Saturday, I was really looking forward to Cintron-Williams. I thought that Cintron had truly shaken off the Margarito fight, but now, I'm not so sure. Am I alone in thinking this? All in all, this injury may be a blessing in disguise, because judging by how he looked--hand injury or not, he took way too many punches--Cintron has no chance against Paul Williams.
According to Dan Goosen, who promotes Williams, there are four possible replacements for the February 2nd fight. They are: Zab Judah, Ricardo Mayorga, Carlos Quintana and Luis Collazo. A fight between Judah and Quintana is also currently being considered for the Pavlik-Taylor II undercard later in February, but it has not been made official. I'm guessing either of those guys would jump for another title shot with Williams.
Truth be told, I'm not sure who deserves it. Since losing back-to-back-to-back fights to Baldomir, Mayweather and Cotto, Judah has silently built a two-fight winning streak, though he has looked rather unimpressive in doing so, going the distance against opponents he should've been able to put away.
On the other hand, since losing to Cotto, Quintana has only fought once, and that was against a guy whose record was 23-18. Then again, at least Quintana knocked out his nobody. And how could we forget the boxing lesson he imparted on Joel "Love Child" Julio?
Collazo hasn't fought since losing to Mosley. Much like Cintron against Feliciano, Collazo reportedly hurt his hand in the first round of that fight. I've read that he's training to return on the Trinidad-Jones undercard, and if that's the case, he would probably be ready to take a fight on February 2nd. He didn't look too hot against Mosley, but let's not forget he's the guy who sent Hatton back down to 140. I may be in the minority on this, but I think Collazo won that fight.
Mayorga just fought at 164. He's talked about campaigning at welterweight again, and if he could make the weight, what's not to like? Not only can he sell a fight, he brings excitement to the table. But I don't think there's any way Mayorga could make 147; not by February, at least. Plus, I'm guessing he'll be one of the few people watching the Forrest fight with interest this Saturday. More likely than not, that's the fight he (and Don King) wants.
Williams would definitely be favored over any of these guys, but still, I think they all have the capacity to make it interesting. If you had your pick, who would you choose?