When’s the last time you thought about Kermit Cintron?
No disrespect to the man or anything, but it’s probably been a while. After all, it’s been a while since he’s fought, last taking to the ring in Feb. 2018, a fight that ended in a no-contest due to an accidental headbutt opening a cut on the former welterweight titleholder. It’s been longer since he was on a televised card; you have to go back to Mar. 2017 for that, and that PBC show aired on Bounce TV.
He was last on NBC Sports Network in 2014, winning a close decision over Ronald Cruz. He was last on an ESPN2 event in 2013, fighting Adrian Granados that March and Jonathan Batista that August. He won the latter bout.
And the last fight of Cintron’s you’d call “major” was a shellacking at the hands of a young Canelo Alvarez in 2011.
Cintron is 40 now. It’s been three-and-a-half years since he last won a fight, nearly nine since he last fought for a world title, and over 12 since he lost his IBF 147-pound belt to Antonio Margarito in 2008 at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
But with news that the 45-year-old Sergio Martinez is planning an Aug. 22 comeback fight in Spain, Cintron is itching to get back into the ring, and meet an old rival.
Cintron and Martinez fought to a highly disputed and borderline insane draw in Feb. 2009, with most believing Martinez deserved the win, and at one point it appearing that Martinez had knocked Cintron out. Other than the bizarre nature of it all, the fight wasn’t exactly fun to watch, but Kermit feels there’s something to settle between the two of them.
“I see that he is coming back, and I want the opportunity to face him,” Cintron said. “We have some unfinished business from our fight in 2009, and this is the time to do it. There were various opinions on that fight. If the fight needs to be in Spain, Argentina or wherever, my passport is up to date, and I am willing to travel.”
Martinez, who retired after a sad loss to Miguel Cotto in 2014 and consistent problems with his knees, is coming back with a record of 51-3-2 (28 KO). He really broke out after the draw with Cintron, losing a close Fight of the Year contender with Paul Williams 10 months later, and then stunning Kelly Pavlik to become the WBC and WBO middleweight champion in 2010. He made six successful defenses before losing to Cotto.
Recently, Martinez indicated he’ll probably fight a lower-level opponent, someone who is “good but not too good,” being honest about what he should be doing if he’s going to attempt to fight again at his age, and after such a long break.
Cintron (39-6-3, 30 KO) may realistically be the type of opponent he’s looking for in some ways, being past his own prime by quite a bit, but he also could always crack, and that doesn’t really go away. Martinez may not want to face someone with Kermit’s level of power right away, but Cintron really thinks the fight is a “no-brainer.”
“I am sure he would like to avenge the draw, so let’s make it happen,” Cintron said.
Cintron, who was a good wrestler in high school and junior college, was last heard from much at all late last year, when he looked again to make a move into mixed martial arts. He didn’t actually fight, but there were reports that he did negotiate with Bellator.
That desire dates back to 2007, when Floyd Mayweather and UFC boss Dana White had a minor public spat about the two sports, and White offering to have Mayweather fight then-UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk. Mayweather said he wasn’t interested, but Cintron offered to step in and try his hand. It didn’t happen. He also offered to take Conor McGregor up on a UFC fight in 2017, but by then Cintron had been out of the headlines for some time, and it didn’t make many waves.
As weird as it may sound, a Martinez-Cintron rematch would seem to have at least a minor chance of actually happening. Probably not in two months in Spain, but if Sergio sticks around, that could be a second fight of some value to him.