Williams-Cintron - Kermit Falls Out Of The Ring; Did He Also Fall Foul Of An Unjust Decision?
by James Slater - Well, you'll be hard pressed to name a more bizarre ending to a fight than the one we saw last night in Carson City, CA, as Paul Williams won a four-round technical decision over Kermit Cintron. In a truly stunning ending to the contest between the two punchers, that was perhaps just beginning to catch fire, Cintron wound up basically being KO'd by a combination of dangerously loose ropes and the hard floor he crashed onto when he flew threw said loose ropes in the 4th round.
Unable to continue due to having hurt his head and neck (a brace was attached to the stricken fighter, before he was wheeled into a waiting ambulance), the Puerto Rican was then to receive the unpalatable news that he had actually lost the fight. Under California Commission rules, only three completed rounds have to have been fought, therefore the fight went to the cards - where a fittingly bizarre decision was announced. One judge had Cintron winning all four rounds at 40-36, one judge had Williams the victor by the same margin, while the third judge had "The Punisher" winning by a score of 39-37..
I think it's safe to say Cintron was the victim of an unjust defeat, and as soon as he is well enough to do so he and his team will, quite rightly, appeal the "loss." The correct result should surely have been a No-Contest, and for a while this was what referee Lou Moret was telling those at ringside would be the case - under ABC rules. But then the California Commission's rule book was checked and Michael Buffer announced how just three completed rounds were enough for the scorecards to be brought into play.
We've seen some weird things happen in fights over the years - the now infamous "Fan Man" incident that occurred during the Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe rematch in 1993 for example - but last night's events may have taken the cake. It really was shocking to see Cintron literally fly through the ropes and crash onto the monitors and then the floor the way he did. During the 4th-round - one that saw "The Killer" land a good right hand to the advancing Williams' chin shortly both men lost their footing - Cintron took to the air and then came back down with a nasty thud.
We must all hope Cintron is okay, yet at the same time the questions will be asked. Why, as Sky Sports commentator and former world champion Jim Watt demanded, were the ropes, A: so loose and, B: not tied together to prevent them from opening wide the way they did? Why, when a classic case for a No-Contest was apparent, was one not ruled? And finally, (there may well be more questions that many people may have to ask), as was also suggested during the Sky Sports broadcast I watched, will Cintron look to sue The California Commission for their shoddily erected ring?
As for last night's winner (if Williams' win actually stands in a few days or weeks time), he was asked post-fight if the whole fight was something of an anticlimax for him! Not surprisingly, Williams said, yes, it was. Wanting to make a statement that would hopefully get him a big fight with either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, Williams instead went home with an extremely hollow victory. No, it wasn't in any way his fault what happened to Cintron, but it must be said that Williams looked anything but sharp and accurate in the rounds preceding the bizarre ending to the fight.
Williams also mentioned new middleweight champion Sergio Martinez' name, saying the rematch can easily be made if Martinez calls him. Basing things on how he looked last night (when, who knows, he may simply have had an off night -or maybe he over trained for the fight), Williams would struggle (again in the case of Martinez) against any of the three names he called out.
As for Cintron, if his neck injury is as bad as it looked as he was being wheeled away on a stretcher, his own ring future may be in serious doubt.