By John DiSanto – PhillyBoxingHistory.com
When Kermit Cintron, 39-5-3, 30 KOs, and Tyrone Brunson, 25-6-2, 22 KOs, step into to the boxing ring to face off in the main event of a stacked Kings Boxing show at South Philly’s 2300 Arena on Saturday night, they will have their very survival in the sport weighing heavily on their muscular shoulders. Both fighters have been campaigning for quite a while and have exactly one more chance to move up to bigger fights. It is do-or-die for both boxers, and that means this 10-rounder should be a good one.
Cintron, Reading, PA, a 17-year vet, has already been to the top. He held the IBF world welterweight belt between 2006 and 2008, and has had a fine pro career. He’s scored wins over Mark Suarez, Walter Matthysse, Jesse Feliciano, Alfredo Angulo, Lovemore Ndou, Antwone Smith, Ronald Cruz, and drew with Sergio Martinez. He’s only lost to top-tier fighters like Canelo Alvarez, Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, and Carlos Molina.
However, anyone who saw Cintron’s most recent start saw a different fighter altogether. Cintron escaped a scheduled 10-rounder with David Grayton with a technical draw, after a head butt left Cintron unwilling to continue. Not unable to continue – unwilling to continue.
After hitting the deck in round five, Cintron took a head butt from Grayton that, paused the action, and in my opinion, made him quit. Referee Gary Rosato tried to wave Cintron back into the fight, but the former champ refused. Rosato called in the doctor and Cintron sold the ringside physician on his inability to continue, despite the fact that the butt caused not so much as a trickle of blood.
Cintron should have lost by TKO, but the fight went to the cards and the judges had the bout even through almost five full rounds. I thought it might be the last we’d see Kermit Cintron.
North Philly’s Tyrone Brunson began his career in 2005 with a record-setting 19 straight first round knockouts. On paper, the record looked good, but the truth is that Brunson was put in with one easy mark after another, in an attempt to create the seemingly impressive feat. However, not many bought the sham, and as a result, Brunson wasn’t taken seriously. He eventually ran into some tough competition, and the results were mixed.
In the past few years, Brunson has earnestly fought to reboot his reputation and has established himself as a true pro who comes to fight and gives his all in the ring. He doesn’t always win, but he can punch with the best of them.
In recent fights, Brunson held his own against Caleb Plant and James De La Rosa, fought even with Tito Garcia, went to war with Decarlo Perez, scored a Briscoe Award-worthy come from behind KO against Carlos Hernandez, and in one of his best performances, won a decision over Brandon Quarles, in his most recent start.
But Brunson’s livelihood is hanging on every fight. If Tyrone loses to Cintron, he may be able to continue as a local attraction, but his dreams of reaching the top and erasing that dodgy career start will have come to an end.
Similarly, if Cintron falls to Brunson, his goal of regaining his past glories will certainly be finished. All that will be left will be a few farewell fights.
So, when the two meet on Saturday night with everything on the line – including the PA State junior middleweight championship – the result should be dramatic to watch. Both have something to prove. It’s a pick-em fight, with a victory for either man well within reach.
However, the main event is not the only attraction Saturday night. Marshall Kauffman has put together an excellent slate of fights, ten in all, featuring a number of popular local fighters and promising out-of-towners.
In the co-feature bout, local lightweight Anthony Burgin, 10-3, 2 KOs, meets Victor Vasquez of Yonkers, NY, 7-3, 3 KOs. Burgin is coming off an upset loss to Philly’s Avery Sparrow, while Vasquez holds previous wins over Philadelphians Jerome Conquest and Seifullah Jihad Wise. Vasquez hopes to add Burgin to his list of Philly killings.
Also appearing Saturday night, Jerome Conquest, 7-2, 1 KO, returns in a lightweight 6-rounder against Philly-based South Korean Jae Ho Kim, 6-3-1, 2 KOs.
In another 6-round bout, flashy and impressive lightweight Steven Ortiz, Philadelphia, 6-0, 2 KOs, goes for number seven against South Bend, Indiana’s Tyrome Jones, 4-0, 1 KO. Ortiz has looked like dynamite thus far.
DC prospect Marcus Bates, 6-0-1, 6 KOs, will try to add another KO against Mexico’s Roberto Pucheta, 10-11-1, 6 KOs, in a 6-round bantamweight fight.
Middleweight Gregory Clark of DC, 2-1-1, 1 KO, takes on Asbury Park measuring stick Darryl Bunting, 3-1-2, 1 KO. Familiar to Philly fans, Bunting always brings a trough test.
The final 6-rounder is between two undefeated heavyweights, Maryland’s Colby Madison, 4-0, 3 KOs, and Joel Caudle of Raleigh, NC, 7-0, 5 KOs.
Three 4-rounders will also be presented: Brandon Robinson vs. Rafael Valencia; Nick Valliere vs. Randy Hedderick; and Chaise Nelson vs. Jordan Peters.
First bell on Saturday night is at 7:00 PM.
To read more about the Philly fight scene – past and present – visit www.phillyboxinghistory.com.
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