Jr middleweight contender and former welterweight champion Kermit Cintron has commented on his May 8th fight with Paul Williams. “About thirty seconds into round four, Paul Williams lost his balance and started falling to the canvas,” said Cintron. “Our bodies got tangled and while Paul just hit the canvas, my momentum carried me through the ropes and out of the ring. His falling is what caused me to be off-balance and all I could do was brace myself for impact. As I fell from the ring, I think I landed on a TV monitor. That collision actually knocked the wind out of me.”
He continued, “When I fell from there onto the floor people immediately swarmed around me. I was not exactly sure what had just happened. My only concern was trying to catch my breath. I didn’t really know who all the people were around me. I was looking for my corner and my personal doctor, but they were not allowed near me. The ringside doctor kept his hand pressing down on me telling me to stay still and on the ground. He was concerned that I might have cracked my ribs or punctured my lung. I guess the fall looked worse than it was. I was sucking wind due to the impact of the fall and the doctor told me not to move. I simply listened to him and remained still. I told the doctor that I was ready to fight and that I just needed to catch my breath. I never said I didn’t want to continue.
“California law states “A contestant who has been wrestled, pushed, or has fallen through the ropes during a contest may be helped back by anyone and the referee shall allow a reasonable time for the return.” These rules were not followed. I was not allowed any help from my corner and I was not given time to return to the ring. I was simply told to stay still and then told that the fight had been stopped. I told the doctor several times that I was fine and that I could continue the fight.
“As I was being taken away from the ring against my wishes, I heard it announced that Paul Williams had won a split decision. I didn’t understand then, and I still don’t, how anyone could have watched that fight and thought that Paul Williams won.
“I trained for 8 weeks to get ready for that fight and I was controlling it in every way. I was on my way to a career defining victory. The fight was going exactly as I had planned. Everything was going my way. I am the one who actually buckled Paul Williams with a right hand. He did not hurt me at all. Moments later, because of a freak accident, he was awarded a win and I got the loss. I know I did not ‘lose’ that fight. There is no way. I controlled every round. Paul said he was open to a rematch and I think that’s the only fair way to settle the score.
“I know everyone was looking forward to a great fight between two of the premiere 154-lb fighters in the world. I’m sorry it was cut short but there was nothing I could do about it. For 3+ rounds I set the tone of the fight. The action was starting to pick up when our freak accident occurred. I’m hoping you will want to see us do it all again. Paul Williams is now telling anyone who will listen that he can make 147 lbs. and would like to fight there. I can make that weight as well. Let’s start what we finished. We started it at 154 and I’m fine finishing it there or at 147. Paul said he was open to a rematch. I hope he’s a man of his word. I’m ready to get it on.”