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Feature Story

Williams, Cintron ready for war

Big Joe Miranda

By Francisco Salazar

Paul Williams and Kermit Cintron have quite a bit in common. Both were world champions at 147 pounds. Both have faced Antonio Margarito, whom Williams beat by majority decision almost three years ago. Cintron was not as fortunate, being stopped twice by the hard-hitting Mexican. Now, there is another thing in common between the hard-hitting super welterweights. Aside from praising one another’s accomplishments and strengths, both agreed that the best man will win in their May 8th super welterweight showdown at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Photos: Big Joe Miranda

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Actually, the fight fans are the likely winners in this compelling 154-pound bout between two of the top fighters today.

The 12 round bout will headline “The Weight is Over” card, presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment.

Last Thursday, both Williams and Cintron were present for the media at the Palms Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles to formally announce the fight, which will be televised on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.

Both fighters have ties to the East Coast, but are content in battling it out in the Tennis Court Stadium of the massive Home Depot Center complex. Williams is familiar with the venue as he has fought there twice, stopping Walter Matthyse in 2006. One year later, Williams defeated Margarito before 8,000 screaming fans.

Cintron fought once in Southern California, stopping iron-jawed Jesse Feliciano in November 2007 at STAPLES Center.

Longtime promoter Dan Goossen praised both fighter’s accomplishments in the ring, particularly Williams, whom he has promoted for years. Williams (38-1, 27 KOs) has fought from the Welterweight limit up to the 160 pounds, a rarity in this sport considering Williams’ unique physical attributes.

“I can only think of one fighter currently who has fought in different weight classes,” said Goossen, based in Southern California for decades. “Fight fans recognize that (Manny) Pacquiao and Henry Armstrong have something in common with Williams. As far as I’m concerned, Williams has earned straight A’s for the different challenges he has faced. Williams has the strongest resume of accomplishments in the last two years.”

Cintron (32-2-1, 28 KOs) is looking forward to the match-up, albeit it is taking place at 154 when there was talk of them fighting when both fought as Welterweights a few years ago. Despite having lost against Margarito twice, Cintron is still a legitimate contender.

Last May, he defeated the highly regarded Alfredo Angulo by unanimous decision.

“It was a great win for him and it earned him this fight,” commended Goossen on Cintron.

After the Angulo fight, Cintron stopped Julian Ramos in the fifth round of a scheduled 10 round bout in October.

Williams, who won a close majority decision victory over Sergio Martinez in December, spoke highly of Cintron. He expects a tough battle from the Puerto-Rican fighter.

“I thank Cintron for giving me an opportunity to fight,” said Williams, who has won five bouts in a row since his only defeat at the hands of Carlos Quintana two years ago. “Why? Because everyone pulls out on me. I know he is a hard-puncher with hard power. It’s going to be a knockdown drag-out fight. But, I love to fight and I’m going out there swinging.”

“He’s got a lot to prove and I hope he keeps up with me. I like this fight and it will be a good fight for fans to see.”

According to Cintron, he learned a great deal in his defeats to Margarito. He will take those lessons into the Williams fight and hope that he will be the one who will have his hand raised after the fight.

“For Margarito, I was looking for the knockout,” said Cintron, unbeaten in his last three bouts. “With Paul, I just have to take it one round at a time. If he’s fast, then I’ll stay with him or slow it down. My trainer will lay out my game plan. It’s just a matter of following them up.”

“Paul is a great person and a great fighter. It’s going to be a great fight for both of us. I’m coming in on May 8th in the best shape ever. It has been a hell of a fight for both of us. I’ll also say this: this fight will not be like Pacquiao-Clottey.”

With Williams’ growing fan base in Southern California and Cintron’s highly publicized history of knockouts, Cintron could be on to something. With both fighters bringing an arsenal of weapons to their bout a month from now, this might end of being one of the more compelling bouts of 2010.

Dan Goossen and Lou DiBella should get pats on their backs for making this fight happen.

As both fighters acknowledged, the best man who executes his fight plan will win on May 8th. Then again, this type of fight is where fight fans will win. And in this sport, it needs a lot more of those.

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Goossen also announced that lightweight Martin Honorio (28-4-1, 14 KOs) will fight in the main supporting bout, defending his regional title against Argenis Mendez in a 12 round bout.

“I feel happy to be in a great fight and to be in the co-feature bout,” said Honorio, who defeated previously unbeaten Wilton Hilario last month. “I’m ready to fight on May 8th.”

This will mark a major step in competition for Hilario (15-1, 9 KO‘s), a native of the Dominican Republic and now residing in Brooklyn, NY.

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Goossen announced that tickets are prices at $200, $100, $50, and $25. Tickets are already on sale at the Home Depot Center box office or by calling Ticketmaster.

The Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley Welterweight fight will be replayed from the previous week to go along with the Williams-Cintron telecast.

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