By Mark Vester

At the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida, interim WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (44-1-2, 24 KOs) and former IBF welterweight champ Kermit Cintron (30-2-1, 27 KOs) battled to a controversial majority draw. The scores were 116-110 for Martinez and 113-113 and 113-113.

The fight was a real clash of styles with a lot of holding. The pace came started very slow in the first with both both guys being cautious. The second round was more of the same. Martinez tried to use quick combinations. Cintron was a bit sluggish, which is not a surprise since he came to the ring weighing like a middleweight. The third was better for Martinez, who landed the better punches. Martinez let his hands go at the end of the fourth.

Martinez opened up a bad cut above the left eye of Cintron in the fifth. He began to step up the pace in the sixth round, setting himself up on the outside and throwing quicker punches. Martinez tagged him with a very hard left hand in the seventh and it sent Cintron down on the mat. He thought, for some reason, the punch was actually a clash of heads and stayed down as the ref appeared to count to ten and the bell rang to close the seventh. It appeared like the fight was called by the ref, and was over for a few minutes, with all sorts of confusion in the ring. Then it was restarted with the fight going into the eight round.

Both fighters were very mad in the eight, taunting each other and throwing punches. They continued the more active pace in the ninth. Martinez was landing more punches. Cintron came on with a very strong round in the tenth, landing big punches. Martinez came right back and outboxed Cintron in the eleventh.

During the twelfth, the ref took a crucial point away from Martinez for hitting Cintron with a punch to the back of the head. The point deduction was critical to the scores and cost Martinez the decision. Martinez stepped on the gas in the final round while Cintron was staying away and not throwing enough. 

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