'Call Em Out Fridays': Kermit Cintron - Lots of Skills, More Power, Even More Questions

Kermit Cintron22.05.09 - By Vivek Wallace: On the evening of May 30th, in Hollywood, Florida in front of a live HBO telecast, one of the welterweight divisions often forgotten son's will lace up a pair of gloves and set out to do something that he has failed to accomplish in roughly 33 attempts. That feat?.....Remove all questions in the back of the minds of fight fans around the globe who continue to provide a benefit of the doubt, yet remain firmly aware that his window of opportunity is only held open at this point by a stiff wind that is apparently no longer at his back in support. As a man, away from the ring, it's hard not to like Cintron. Very humble, very reserved, very simple. His life story from the very beginning is comprised of elements that accomplish the impossible task of both making a typical poker-face smile, yet immediately prompting a giddy guy to tears. Somewhere beyond the turmoil suffered as a child, the finished product delivered for the world to see was a man whose raw ability once set him apart from most of his contemporaries.

Despite those natural gifts and attributes, the career of Kermit Cintron has failed to spark the pizazz that most envisioned. Critics have gone on record in saying that he lacks everything from fundamentals, to stamina, to heart.. His supporters feel the exact opposite, but to be neutral on the issue, it's truly a bit hard to accurately guage a mans talent when the body of work being measured is a bit incomplete - based on the fact that 27 of his 30 opponents failed to go deep enough in the fight to truly test those warrior traits. In an era of the sport where 'the squeaky wheel gets the oil', some feel it's the soft nature of Cintron that actually works against him, perceptually making him more gentle than man. Such a notion breathes life into the ill-fated conversations around the game that continue to attract so much negative attention to him, but it's truly difficult to understand how that is when all he's ever done - (barring the two Margarito fights) - is win. Rarely has any era in the sport seen a fighter without an opponent who had his number. For the legendary Roy Jones jr it was Tarver....for Tyson it was Holyfield....for Hamed it was Barrera....for Taylor it was Pavlik, and the list goes on. The intriguing thing about that list is that for all of those great warriors listed, there were other men who later came along and also found success against them, but with Cintron, there's only been one to date - and based on recent findings from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), there's a bit of room to perhaps even question that perceived truth.

When it all boils down, we can continue to question the truth behind those questionable losses in the career of Cintron, but the biggest question about him lies more in his ability to reach the potential that most believes that he has. The losses to Margarito only seemed to encapsulate what could be a hidden truth in Cintron, which is the fact that when confronted by someone who isn't intimidated by his power, that supernatural power suddenly becomes neutral and the man who identifies himself as the "Killer", instead reverts to a less popular role as the victim. Supporters can continue to question the Margarito losses, and critics can continue to question Cintrons ability, but the only way for Cintron to create a degree of separation is by performing at a level that removes all doubt. His next assignment comes by way of a fighter in the mold of the very template that has given him the most troubles in his career. That template is a hard-nosed, gritty customer who only comes forward. If that isn't enough of a parallel, perhaps the biggest and most troubling one of them all comes into the fold when the Mariachi band warms up and born is the realization that this opponent is simply the latest rendition in a long string of proud Mexicans who are in fact born to fight, and truly believe in fighting til' death! Choosing an opponent with limited experience is often a smart move, but in this case, it could all backfire. The old adage has it that "ignorance is bliss", and for a young Mexican warrior like Angulo, this must be heaven because fear of a power puncher is arguably the farthest thing from his mind. With a reputation to polish up and a career to salvage, despite his solid record, Cintron stands firm knowing that this could very well be it for him. How it all unfolds remains to be seen, but when the bell rings, only one thing can be for certain......and that's the fact that both men will come to fight, but only one can walk away with a win. What began as a fragment will end as a statement. What inquiring minds want to know is "will that statement produce more questions for a man who has given us few answers?". Tune in on Saturday, May 30th, at 900pm EST on HBO to find out.

*****Happy Birthday shot out to a friend, a soul inspiration, and arguably the best soul crooner of this era, Mr. Johnny Gill*****

(Got questions or feedback?: Contact Vivek Wallace at or 954-292-7346)

(Follow Vivek Wallace thru the week):

Mon. - (ESB) - 'Left-Hook Lounge' Mailbag ...
Tue. - ( - Commentary
Wed. - ( - "V8" - Vivek's 8-Wonders of the boxing world ... (Commentary on 8 biggest stories in boxing)
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Fri. - (ESB) - 'Call Em Out Fridays' .... (In-Depth look at questions surrounding a key figure in the sport)
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Article posted on 22.05.2009

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