31-year old Puerto Rican southpaw Carlos Quintana will replace injured countryman Kermit Cintron in a February 2 welterweight title bout against Paul Williams, according to Primera Hora.
The report said that the fight was also officially offered to ex-champion Zab Judah, who was also in negotiation to fight Quintana on the undercard of HBO's Pavlik-Taylor II pay-per-view on February 16. Judah reportedly decided to pass on the offer to face Williams due to a hand injury suffered in his November 17 win over Ryan Davis.
If the report is true, Williams at least gets a suitable replacement. Cintron is a bigger name and a more dangerous puncher, plus the fight would have been an alphabet title unification, but Quintana is a good fighter whose only career loss has come at the hands of Miguel Cotto, who dropped Quintana with a crushing body blow in December 2006.
Quintana came into his bout with Cotto flying high from a dominant boxing lesson taught to blue chip prospect Joel Julio, who has since moved up to 154 pounds and reacquired his groove, so to speak.
Williams' lengthy arms, tremendous activity and solid power make for a tough matchup for anybody, but Quintana is a pretty tough fighter in his own right, with surprising thunder -- 19 of his 24 wins have come by way of knockout, even though to watch him fight, you don't see a bruiser.
Williams-Quintana is not a bad pickup as far as scrambling to find a replacement two months away goes. He was training to fight just two weeks later, anyway, which means he should have ample time to be in prime shape. I like Williams, and he will be the favorite, but Quintana scoring an upset would not be a shock to me. I like his chances better than I would have Zab Judah's.