By: Ken Hissner
Former IBF World Welterweight Champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron has announced his retirement per Marshall Kauffman of King’s Promotions out of Reading, PA.
At the age of 38 Cintron’s last fight didn’t end as well as he would have liked. On February 13th of 2018 he was matched against upcoming Houston prospect Marquis Taylor, 8-1, at the Bethlehem Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA, on a King’s Promotions show. Cintron due to an accidental head butt had a bad cut above right eye. The ring physician refused to allow the contest to continue.
It was not the first cut Cintron has received during his 39-6-3 and 1nc record with 30 knockouts. It was at least the sixth time he has had cuts over both eyes. He has been known as a hard puncher which his 30 knockouts in 39 wins shows.
Considering Cintron didn’t get into boxing until he was 19 after being a high school wrestler after moving to PA from Carolina, PR. He was 24-4 with 17 knockouts as an amateur.
Kauffman was his fist trainer. Then Kronk’s Manny Steward, Ronnie Shields and ending with Joe Pastore. Cintron won the vacant IBF World title on October 28th in 2006 stopping Mark “Poison” Suarez, 25-2, at the Convention Center in Palm Beach, FL, in the 6th round. Cintron stopped David Estrada, 18-2, in a title eliminator in the 10th round for the No. 2 spot. Suarez had won a title eliminator in his previous fight stopping James Webb, 18-0, in the first round for the No. 1 spot.
Cintron defended his title twice successfully. First against Argentina’s Walter “El Terrible” Matthysse, 26-1, scoring a second round knockout in Atlantic City, NJ, in July of 2007. In November he stopped Jesse “El Rayo” Feliciano, 15-5-3, in the 10th round being well ahead in the scoring at time of the stoppage. Afterwards Cintron went to the hospital with a possible fractured right hand or wrist.
In Cintron’s third defense he lost his title by a knockout to the same boxer he lost his first fight. Cintron had won his first 24 fights before losing to Antonio “El Tornado de Tijuana” Margarito in Las Vegas in the fifth round for the latter’s WBO World Welterweight title then lost his IBF title to Margarito.
Before the year was out Cintron bounced back winning a solid 12 round decision over the former IBF World Super Lightweight champion South Africa’s Lovemore Ndou, 46-10-1, fighting out of Australia. He would follow this bout up with future world champion Sergio Martinez, 44-1-1, for the interim WBC World Super Welterweight Title. The fight would end up in a majority draw. Martinez would later win both the WBO and WBC Middleweight titles. His only loss going into the Cintron fight was to no other than Margarito.
When there was no rematch with Martinez Cintron’s next fight was a WBC Light Middleweight Title eliminator where he defeated tough Mexican Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, 15-0, over 12 rounds. Cintron was snubbed even though he won this eliminator to fight for the title.
Two fights later Cintron took on Paul “Punisher” Williams, 38-1, in May of 2010, losing by TD in the fourth round due to a severe back pain. He would split in his next two fights and got a title fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 38-0-1, for his WBC World Super Welterweight Title getting stopped in the fifth round. You can’t say Cintron was afraid to take on anyone.
Cintron was inactive for 16 months before returning to action with a split decision draw with Adrian Granados, 11-2-1, in March of 2013. After defeating Jonathan Batista, 14-1, Cintron was able to return to nearby Ready for the first time in almost eleven years at the Sands in Bethlehem, PA. In a solid 10 round bout and probably the most in attendance this writer has seen at that site he defeated Bethlehem’s Ronald Cruz, 20-2.
After six straight wins Cintron in March of 2017 he ended up in a TD draw in the fifth round due to an accidental head butt against David “Day-Day” Grayton, 15-1, at the Reading Santander Arena. Cintron suffered a cut right eye.
In June in one of the most explosive fights at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia for the vacant USA PA State Super Welterweight Title Cintron had Philly’s Tyrone “Young Gun” Brunson, 24-6-2, with 22 ko’s, down twice in the fourth round. In the next round Cintron went into end it when the hard hitting Brunson caught him coming in dropping Cintron three times ending the “Philly War!”
That was Cintron’s next to last fight before meeting Taylor in his final career bout. Cintron was very popular in the Reading area being a former champion with a solid knockout punch. Forty of his forty-nine opponents had winning records.
Former well known box man from the Reading, PA, area Rich Ormsbee worked Cintron’s corner as his cut man in early and later fights. He had this to say:
The biggest mistake his training people made is letting him be a nice guy in the fight. He was one of the hardest punching welterweights in his era, but he was too kind to his opponents. Jeff Jowett (writer) was responsible for his nickname “killer” but that didn’t fit. There is a big difference between boxing and fighting, but someone has to show the boxer also how to fight, and Kermit was never taught that. Kermit could have been one of the greatest welterweights of all-time if he only had been meaner. Even in his sparring matches, it always seemed like he was worried that he would hurt someone. There is nothing wrong with being a nice guy, but not in the “fight”. Also, I have never heard Kermit utter a bad word about anyone. He was and still is a truly nice guy.