Bethlehem, PA - Bragging rights across Southeastern Pennsylvania will be up for grabs when welterweights Ronald Cruz, of Bethlehem, and nearby rival Kermit Cintron, of Reading, PA, meet in a much-anticipated regional showdown Saturday evening, March 15, in the Events Center at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
A world heavyweight elimination fight tops between Tomasz Adamek, of Zywiec, Poland, and Vyascheslav "Czar" Glazkov, of Lugansk, Ukraine, square off in a 12-round contest. NBC Sports Network will televise the card on its popular Fight Night Series. The first TV fight is 9pm (EST).
"The Adamek-Glazkov fight may generate more interest on an international scale, but in Southeastern Pennsylvania there is no bigger fight to be made than Cruz against Cintron," said Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz, who is co-promoting the March 15 card with Main Events. "From the early calls, I expect the March 15 card not only to sell out, but we should have people banging on the doors outside trying to get in the night of the fight. This one (Cruz-Cintron) has been brewing for some time, ever since Cruz developed into a local attraction in Bethlehem, less than 50 miles from Cintron's hometown."
A pro since 2009, the 27-year-old Cruz is 20-2, 15 K0s. He spent some time in the Top 15 of two world governing bodies, but back-to-back losses in 2012 to Antwone Smith, of Miami, FL, and in 2013 to Ray Narh, of Accra, Ghana, stalled his climb.
Cruz has since rebounded, scoring three consecutive knockouts over Rodolfo Armenta, of Rio Rico, AZ; Alberto Morales, of Miami, FL; Hector Munoz, of Albuquerque, NM. All three K0s were at the Sands Events Center, the site of Cruz' last six fights.
Cruz said, "Kermit Cintron is a name that many people know around the world and he's a guy that's had alot of good moments in his career. You have to respect what he's done for the sport of boxing, but this is my time." He added, "I'm looking forward to making a statement with Kermit and erasing some doubts people have about me. I know he will try to come at his best and I hope he does because at the end of the day, I want no excuses."
The 34-year-old Cintron turned pro in 2000 and won the vacant IBF world welterweight title in 2006 when he knocked out Mark Suarez, of Riverside, CA. After successful defenses against Walter Matthysse, of Santa Fe, Argentina, and Jesse Feliciano, of Las Vegas, NV, Cintron lost the title to Antonio Margarito, of Tijuana, Mexico, in 2008.
"I've been training for a knockout. I'm feeling back to my old self. Having my good friend Joe Pastore back in my team who is also my strength and conditioning coach as well as my manager," said Cintron. "Physically and mentally I feel strong. Looking forward to this fight not because I'm getting back in the ring but because I will be fighting close to home."
In his last fight Aug. 2 in Miami, OK, Cintron earned a 10-round decision over Jonathan Batista, of the Dominican Republic.
Overall, Cintron is 34-5-2, 28 K0s.