By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com spoke with a furious Kermit Cintron, who vowed to walk away from boxing if the California State Athletic Commission denies his planned petition to reverse Saturday's split decision loss to Paul Williams, which took place at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
The first three rounds of the fight was more or less a boxing match, but the two former champions began to exchange hard punches in the fourth. Not long after the leather started flying, the two fighters were locked in a clinch when it appeared, at least to me, that Williams tried to do a quick side manuever to land a hook, which sent both fighters falling backwards. Williams landed on the canvas, while Cintron went through the ropes and landed on a ringside table.
The ringside physician would not allow Cintron to continue the fight. Pursuant to the governing rules in the state of California, the fight went to the cards because three rounds had been completed. Williams was awarded a four round technical split-decision.
Cintron said that he told the ringside physician that he needed a few minutes catch his breath because the fall knocked the wind right out of him. The doctor believed Cintron was suffering from a possible punctured lung and would not allow him to continue the fight. Another doctor was holding Cintron's head and ordered him to stay down to avoid further injury to what he assumed was a possible punctured lung - after Cintron indicated that he needed a moment to catch his breath.
"Clearly I was winning the fight. In the fourth round, he had caught me with a straight left and I came back and counter-punched him with a hard right and I don't know if it was the hard right that hurt him or the left hook but he was buckling. He was definitely hurt. I was going to take my time to catch him again. I don't know if he lost his footing or he was hurt. The momentum, I don't know if he pulled me or what but the momentum just took me right out of the ring," Cintron told BoxingScene.com.
"When I went out of the ring. I hit the corner of something on my right lower back and it took my breath away. I couldn't catch my breath for about a minute. [The doctor] kept telling me the fight was over and 'let's take you to the hospital so we can check you.' I was fine after a minute. All I needed to do was catch my breath. The guy that was holding my head, he kept saying that I had a punctured lung. I said that 'seriously, I'm fine now, I want to continue the fight and don't take this fight away from me' and they took the f**king fight away from me."
Cintron told BoxingScene he is so disgusted with the doctors' ruling that he plans to walk away from the sport if the California State Athletic Commission rules against a planned petition to reverse the split decision call.
"The doctors made the decision to stop this fight. I told them not to take this fight from me. I was winning the fight. I was winning the whole entire fight. I don't understand, doctors they don't really know boxing. I was fighting the perfect fight of my life against Paul Williams and they took the fight away from me," Cintron said.
"I'm disgusted with the whole situation. I told Josh [Dubin] that they need to look at a tape and do something to reverse the decision. I know I won the fight. If they don't reverse the decision, I think I'm f**king done. I think I'm done fighting. To take the fight away from me like that is disgusting. I've done what I can and I've showed that I'm one of the best out there and for them to take the fight away from me like that, to let the doctors decide and not let me get back in the ring, it's not cool."
Pursuant to the California rules, Cintron had up to five minutes to recover. He said the doctors would not give him the five minutes and instead called a halt to the fight.
"There was no reason for them to bring to stretcher out. I was fine, I was moving. I caught my breath back. All they had to do was give me two minutes or whatever," Cintron said. "I had five minutes to recover from falling out of the ring. Why didn't they give me the five minutes?"
Cintron's promoter Lou DiBella echoed his fighter's statements, but he doesn't think Cintron is going to walk away from the sport. He told BoxingScene emotions are in play over the loss and he expects Cintron to return the ring in the near future.
"Kermit said he was okay. He got his breath back. They wouldn't let him fight. Kermit's doctor was there and he told them Kermit was fine. Kermit is not going to quit boxing. It's just emotions talking right now. The doctors said they didn't give him any recovery time because they were concerned about a punctured lung," DiBella told BoxingScene.com.