By Anthony Springer Jr.
Looking past fighters is a quick way to find one’s self staring at the lights. For all intents and purposes, WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez would have every right to look past Saturday’s title defense against Kermit Cintron.
Let’s look at the facts: In 2009, Cintron notched a respectable 32-2-1 record. The two blemishes on his record came at the hands of Antonio Margarito. What a difference two years makes. Cintron is 1-2 sinse then. The lone win a lackluster performance against Antwone Smith. The most bizarre loss of all to Paul Williams. Cintron took a spill outside the ring and was carried out on a stretcher. The bout went to the judges and Williams was awarded the victor on points.
It’s not a good time to be Kermit Cintron in the boxing world. In fact, nobody not named Kermit Cintron—or those affiliated his camp, and even that’s in question—expects him to get by Alvarez Saturday night.
“I’ve been training hard and I’ve had a good training camp,” Cintron said on a media conference call. “Trained my butt off and I’m prepared for this fight.”
What Cintron said was almost as telling as what he didn’t say. There’s no bravado in his voice, nor are there bold predictions. He’s putting a lot of weight on being the more experienced fighter come opening bell.
“I have a lot of experience, been through ups and downs. ‘Canelo’ hasn’t had that. I’ve always worked my way up and I’m coming here to take the title away from him.”
Cintron is fighting to prove he still has something—anything—left to offer the Sweet Science. Well, something other than being a stepping stone in Alvarez’ legacy. At 38-0-1, Alvarez has the wind at his back.
Just don’t tell Cintron he can’t beat the odds.
“He’s world champion for a reason,” the challenger said. “I think he’s a good fighter. He’s strong and has a lot of skills. But I feel that I’m a better fighter than he is. I’m strong as well, I can punch. It’s going to be an interesting fight. I came here well prepared for whatever he brings. November 26 is going to be a great night for Mexico and a great night for Puerto Rico.”