Sharkies Machine HBO's Triple Header- Cintron Destroys Matthysse; Gomez stops Gatti, Williams Decisions Margarito

kermit cintron(Kermit Cintron, on left, seen here moments after knocking down challenger Walter Mattysse in the 2nd round) By Frank Gonzalez Jr. July 14th, 2007 - Saturday night in Atlantic City, fan favorite and ripened legendary warrior, Arturo Gatti (40-9-0, 31 KO’s) came to the end point of his exciting career. His opponent, 26 year-old Alphonso Gomez (17-3, 8 KO’s), systematically picked him apart with aggression, jabbing and combination punching that proved more than Gatti (at 35 years old) could handle.

With Mickey Ward in his corner as a trainer, it was a feel good situation that concluded in disaster. Not on account of Ward’s instructions but because Gatti simply could not keep up with Gomez, who always beat him to the punch and was able to take what few punches Gatti managed to land during the course of seven rounds.

It was a happy day for Alphonso Gomez, whose claim to fame was his part on the TV show, “The Contender,” where he was a fan favorite. Gomez showed good boxing skills and stronger determination to win every round, en route to a knockout in the seventh round.

Arturo Gatti, after so many wars, didn’t have enough left inside to handle the up and coming Alphonso Gomez, who looked to be the bigger, stronger man in the ring. While this may have been the last time we see Gatti in the ring, take nothing away from Gomez, who shinned with an impressive performance.

Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward were not the greatest tacticians in the ring. They were never regarded as, ‘best pound for pound’ in their primes but they were hard working, blue-collar warriors that the average man could identify with. They proved that great match making makes a greater impact on the sport’s history than just Titles and rankings. For Ward, a successful outing as Gatti’s corner man might’ve paved the way to a lucrative future training up and coming fighters. That may still happen but not based on how Gatti did in his pugilistic finale. Father time passes no man by and Arturo Gatti had to deal with the reality that he simply is no longer able to do what he did for so many electric years—be a crowd-pleasing fighter. When all was said and done, Gatti said that he would retire now. He will be sorely missed. I wish him all the best.

Alphonso Gomez did what he had to do and did so with authority. He demonstrated quality boxing skills and persistence that make for exciting fights. Arguments can be made that Gatti was past his prime and not a credible test for the likeable Gomez but the truth is, Gomez has what it takes to be a strong competitor in the 140-147 pound divisions.

After the fight, Gomez said he’d like to fight Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. That sounds like a good match up. Will JC Jr. take that fight or continue building his record against guys we never heard of and will never hear of again? Chavez appears to have some quality boxing skills, a long range and considerable power. Against Gomez, he’d have a significant height advantage to work his jab. It’s a fight I think most fans would enjoy. Lets hope it happens.


IBF Welterweight Champion, Kermit Cintron (28-1,26 KO’s) made easy work of Walter Matthysse (26-2,25 KO’s), knocking him down in the first round and following up with a pair of knockdowns in the second round that ended the fight. Matthysse came on strong at the start but Cintron was poised and took full advantage when the moment presented itself. After hurting Matthysse in the first, Cintron followed up in the second with sharp accurate punches. He landed a clean uppercut and right cross to put Matthysse on the canvas and out.

During the post fight interview, Cintron was asked who he wants to fight next and instead of saying Antonio Margarito, the only man who ever beat Cintron, he called for Shane Mosley, who is arguably past his prime. Even though Mosley is far from being in top form, his name appears to still have enough clout to make for a big money fight. But there are bigger fish to fry at 147, like newly crowned WBO Champ, Paul Williams or WBA Champ, Miguel Cotto. Forget about Floyd Mayweather Jr. He only fights guys he knows he’s going to beat. Can anyone imagine FMJ agreeing to fight Paul Williams after he turned down a fight against Margarito for 7-8 Million?

Congrats to Kermit Cintron, who showed composure and powerful accuracy in his defense of his IBF Welterweight Title. Not to take anything away from Cintron but I don’t understand how Walter Matthysse qualified to challenge for Cintron’s IBF Title, especially since Matthysse last fight (a year ago) was a loss to Paul Williams and that he was not even ranked in the top ten in the Welterweight division. Seems boxing is just an exhibition sport and not a real, legitimate sport. THAT is what’s killing boxing.

What about all the top contenders in the division trying to earn their chance at a Championship fight? Matthysse loses a fight to a top contender (Paul Williams) and that propels him to a fight against a major Title belt holder? How does that work?

Where is the meritocracy that is supposed to be the decisive factor of who faces who in sports? That Matthysse was afforded a chance to win the IBF Title without really earning it waters down the value of all the Titles. Maybe Cintron should be trying to get a rematch against the man who beat him, Margarito, who could use some help regaining a title after his meeting with Paul “The Punisher” Williams.

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Styles make fights and in the biggest fight of the night, five foot, eleven inch WBO Champion, Antonio Margarito (34-5, 24 KO’s) took on the six foot one inch tall, Paul Williams (33-0, 24 KO’s) in what was Margarito’s eighth Title defense at the Home Depot Center in Carson California.

Williams looked like he was six foot four against the smaller Margarito. Williams was the busier fighter, who worked his jab from a good range and constantly outworked Margarito for the better part of twelve rounds.

Margarito did land the more damaging punches later in the fight but was constantly beaten to the punch by the lanky Williams, who dominated the early rounds with his jab and follow up combinations. He did enough in the late rounds to earn a Unanimous Decision victory over the man that, “nobody wants to fight at 147.” Mostly it felt like Margarito just ran out of rounds. Had it been a 15 round fight, Margarito probably would have won because he was getting to Williams in the seventh, eighth and eleventh rounds. For all of his offensive prowess, Williams never managed to hurt Margarito at all.

One of the most impressive things about this fight was the cardio vascular conditioning of both guys. Neither man ever looked out of breath in their corners from the beginning to the end.

The decisive factor in this one was that Williams was simply faster and longer than Margarito, who had trouble getting much offense going in the first five rounds. The fourth round was close because Margarito actually was able to score on the inside to the body. But in almost every round except for the sixth, ninth and tenth, Williams always dictated the tempo and scored more often.

After 12 rounds, Williams face was swollen and he bled from a cut over his left eye. Margarito was unblemished and sure that it was he, who had won. The Judges scored it 116-112 and 115-113 twice, all in favor of Williams. Margarito called the decision a robbery. I can’t see how Margarito can think he won the fight when he lost so many rounds by being outworked and out pointed by the softer punching but voluminous Paul Williams.

With a well-stocked Welterweight Division, lets hope there’ll be some big time fights on the horizon. This division is real tight at the top and we fans deserve to see the best fight the best!

We have some tough customers at 147, like Kermit Cintron, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley and possibly Oscar De La Hoya, who supposedly plans continue fighting at 147. And don’t forget Antonio Margarito, he’ll be back. Just think what a great tournament could be made to separate the contenders from the Champions at Welterweight.

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Article posted on 15.07.2007

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