Margarito vs. Cintron: World War lll

22.04.05 - By Darrell La Montre: When WBO Welterweight Champion Antonio Margarito (31-4 22 ko’s) of Tijuana, Mexico faces Kermit ‘The Killer” Cintron (24-0 22 ko’s) of Carolinas, Puerto Rico this Saturday on ESPN PPV, fistic fireworks are a foregone conclusion. Given their exciting styles, how can this not be a fight of the year candidate? Sure, there have been plenty of fights that have not lived up to their expectations, but something tells me this won’t be one of them.

When I attempt to analyze this fight, I come to the conclusion that there are many intangibles that make this a very difficult fight to handicap. On paper, Cintron appears to be the much bigger puncher, but can he take a punch? Margarito has the edge in experience in both the number of fights, as well as quality of opposition. However, has he faced anyone with the power that Cintron possesses? Cintron is basically a Junior Middleweight/Middleweight fighting at Welterweight. Considering his height (5’11), he will most likely end up a Middleweight like his fellow Puerto Rican idol Felix Trinidad has become.

Margarito (also 5’11 but not built like Cintron) turned pro at Lightweight and has fought as high as Middleweight, but appears to be at his best at the 147lb Welterweight limit. He is coming off a 10th round TKO title winning effort against Sebastian Andres Lujan in February. Prior to that fight, Margarito fought Daniel Santos for the WBO Junior Middleweight title in September of 2004 and came up short losing a controversial 9th round technical decision after sustaining a cut subsequent to a head butt. Margarito’s exciting non-stop crowd pleasing style makes him both entertaining to watch, and difficult to fight. As we learned from the Santos fight, however, he’s hardly Floyd Mayweather in the defense department.

Cintron is coming off a 9 month layoff. He last fought Teddy Reid for the WBO Welterweight interim title, winning on an 8th round TKO. He has gone 10 rounds once (against Jesus Valverde), but has never gone 12. Does he have the stamina to go 12 hard rounds? Will he even have to? Margarito would be smart to box Cintron and try to extend the fight into the later rounds. It takes a lot out of a fighter to throw every punch with knockout aspirations – ask George Foreman. It takes even more out of a fighter to throw and miss punches with knockout aspirations – again, ask George Foreman. The only problem is Margarito is no Ali, so my guess is the Cintron will be landing a lot more flush shots against Margarito than Foreman did against Ali.

My prediction for this fight is that it will be very fast-paced with both fighters throwing and landing hard shots. It’s conceivable that if Margarito weathers the early storm, and boxes Cintron he could win on points. Margarito is a seasoned pro and should have a few tricks for Cintron. A stiff, hard jab is imperative against a puncher like Kermit who will be looking to run Antonio over like a tank. Having said that, power is the ultimate equalizer, and Cintron is hardly short on power. He also has decent technique for a puncher, and is young and hungry. His management obviously has confidence in his ability if they’re putting him in with a good fighter like Margarito. Cintron by 7th round TKO in a war.

Article posted on 22.04.2005

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