Weekend Afterthoughts: Revisiting Paul Williams Vs. Kermit Cintron, Floyd Mayweather Vs. Shane Mosley, Friday Night Fights, Solo Boxeo And More

Check out Kerm above, then meet me after the jump.

  • Kermit Cintron’s explanation. There have indeed been a variety of explanations from the Cintron camp about what, exactly, was the matter when he fell out of the ring in his fight against Paul Williams. He hit his head and neck, said promoter Lou DiBella. Cintron himself above said he’d gotten his breath knocked out of him, and the doctors were worried about a punctured lung. Cintron and DiBella were in harmony in saying that he wanted to continue fighting, and at the time, HBO’s Larry Merchant reported the same from ringside. It’s clear both from remarks here and around the boxing world that, regardless of the explanation, some people have so dis-enjoyed Cintron’s reaction that they say they don’t want to see him again. It’s a bit unfair and unfortunate, but when you’ve been involved in a couple fights where your warrior spirit came into question, critics are going to fold this into that reputation, whether that spirit came into play here or not.
  • Williams-Cintron crowd. The audience at the Home Depot Center, from television, appeared not too bad, not too great. It’s certainly not evidence that Williams has a West Coast following, as promoter Dan Goossen has insisted. There’s been some talk of him coming to Washington, D.C. as a potential base for a fight, since he trains out of here, he got a warm reception on the Mayweather-Mosley press tour that came here and since the city is a nice boxing town that hasn’t been fully exploited as such. Sounds like a great idea to give it a try, bringing a Williams fight to D.C. — hell, it’s not like much of anything else is working, turning the guy into a local attraction anywhere. P.S., on the undercard junior lightweight Martin Honorio’s hot streak against young, celebrated opponents ended in a majority decision loss to Argenis Mendez, per a news release.
  • Antonio Margarito. The disgraced junior middleweight won a unanimous decision — every round, really — in his ring return against Roberto Garcia Saturday. Thanks to a friend of the site, I checked out a replay stream today and was surprised to see Margarito fought wholly unlike himself: boxing, moving and backing up rather than charging forward with relentless pressure. If you were looking for clues that his vaunted punching power had not always come from loaded gloves, this fight offered no such clues. The reported 17,000 in attendance showed if nothing else that he’ll still be popular in Mexico, and as far as I’m concerned they can keep him. On the undercard, Jorge Solis won a wide unanimous decision Mario Santiago. In the empty junior lightweight division, that was yet more evidence that Solis could become a real player.
  • Mayweather-Mosley again. Watching the rebroadcast of Mayweather-Mosley, this time with the benefit of seeing it via closer-up television cameras and with the HBO commentary, there’s something I noticed early on that hasn’t much been brought up and may be crucial. The HBO team noted that from the start, Mosley was very tight, very anxious. There was a lot of wasted motion, a lot of hands bopping around more than usual. If you’ve followed Oscar De La Hoya’s career, you know that his stamina problems were often blamed on him being too wound up. It’s surprising that Mosley, a veteran who’s never showed any signs of mental weakness, would come out that way, but it may very well be an explanation for why he got tired so fast against Mayweather, itself a strange phenomenon considering that Mosley’s never shown any stamina problems in the past, either. And make no mistake about it, Mosley faded at least in part on his own volition. He was breathing with his mouth open as early as the 4th round, and nothing Mayweather was doing could entirely account for that. I say this not to diminish Mayweather’s win, because ultimately it’s a great win and great performance against the then-#3 pound-for-pound man in the sport. I’m just saying that some element of that win was related to Mosley’s own poor performance after the 2nd round. One more thing: As much as Mayweather’s been praised for his aggressive approach in the fight, I think he could have stood to be even more aggressive and stopped Mosley if he wanted to do so. That’s not the way Mayweather fights, but think about how much more the man would be praised if he had been a tad less cautious against the fading Mosley and KO’d him. The HBO commentators pointed out as well that Mayweather might have been able to stop Mosley. Kudos to HBO’s team for their call of this fight which was on the mark across the board, especially with some mounting criticism of their performances of late.
  • Hugo Cazares-Nobuo Nashiro II. These top-5 junior bantamweights squared off for the second time, with Cazares reversing the draw and winning what was widely described as a dominant decision. Good for him. I guess this means he got his Big Macs this time? Unfortunately for him, the big game at 115 — Nonito Donaire, Vic Darchinyan, Jorge Arce — is about to move up to bantam, leaving a bit of a wasteland where the next best fighter is, who, Simphiwe Nongqaui?
  • Friday Night Fights. In the ESPN2 headliner, I liked the looks of light heavyweight Yordanis Despaigne, who had no trouble with former contender Richard Hall. He has skills, which is what you’d expect from a 2004 Cuban Olympian who beat the likes of Andre Dirrell in the amateurs. One concern: Many of the members of this wave of Cubans — Guillermo Rigondeaux, Erislandy Lara, Despaigne — suffer from a lack of power and an excess of patience that could cause them trouble when they step up in competition. Also on the undercard, heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell stopped Johnnie White in the 2nd round, showing better fundamentals than I might have expected from a late starter. He might be worth keeping an eye on.
  • Solo Boxeo. I’ve not yet adjusted my satellite plan to get Telefutura, so I missed the show, but junior welterweight prospect Danny Garcia stopped Chris Fernandez in the 7th round in what many have deemed an impressive performance over the very tough Fernandez. His ship righted after a shaky performance in his last fight, is it time once more for Garcia to step it up? He’s in maybe the best division in the sport, and if he’s willing to take some risks, he can find himself in the mix in the next year or so, when some of the men ruling the division now may still be around.
  • Teddy Atlas on Mosley. ESPN’s Atlas during the FNF broadcast raised the question: Did Mosley look so terrible because the blood testing prevented him from using performance enhancing drugs, since Mosley is confirmed to have used them for at least one fight? It’s something I’m sure he’s not alone in wondering, but I have something of a problem with him bringing it up. It’s not a wholly implausible theory, but without any evidence, it’s a very serious thing to raise publicly. Furthermore, there’s plenty of reason to believe the other theories. For starters, Mosley himself agreed to the blood testing, which makes it hard to believe he was on anything in prior fights. But this is a 38-year-old man who was coming off a layoff of more than a year. That’s more than ample to explain his fade after the 2nd round. Combine that with Mayweather’s adjustments, and you have a lot of very good reasons why Mosley might have dropped off in that fight. It’s good for people to be concerned about PED usage in the sport, but it’s not good for people to throw around willy-nilly accusations of cheating that undermine a fighter’s whole career. If someone in the television broadcasting or print/web media thinks Mosley or anyone else is on steroids, investigate it. If not, stop talking about it.

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About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.