20-20 Hindsight: Cintron Not Done Yet, Berto Needs to Find Balance

Going into this weekend's Boxing After Dark card on HBO, it was easy to see Kermit Cintron as someone being served up as a credible opponent for Alfredo Angulo to beat as he continued his evolution into a rising Mexican star.

Cintron was, after all, just 1-1-1 in his previous three fights, including a vicious knockout at the hands of Antonio Margarito and a draw against Sergio Martinez in a fight that many people - myself included - thought he deserved to lose.

As we all know, though, boxing often doesn't play out according to the script. The Angulo-Cintron fight was proof of that, as the previously floundering veteran emerged looking like a new man and the no longer undefeated young gun was left searching for answers.

Cintron looked so sluggish against the mobile Martinez back in February that one expected he'd be there for Angulo's power to find its mark. He was definitely the bigger man, but after fighting most of his career at 147, it wasn't out of the question to wonder if 154 was just too heavy for him.

Yet there he was, flipping the script and becoming the one moving well and setting up power shots with the jab - the very things he was unable to do last time out. The pressure that Angulo usually applies wasn't a factor against someone he couldn't pin down, though Perro had his moments in the later rounds.

What made it all the more unlikely is that we'd heard Cintron declare that he'd be making these adjustments before. He had me convinced before his rematch with Margarito that he'd be a different fighter than the one who got starched the first time, and if anything, he was even less effective in the second bout.

Kermit has always been an excellent athlete, but it took a while for his overall package of boxing skills to develop. They came together at the best possible time on Saturday, and his future suddenly looks much brighter.

It's not like the loss will ruin Angulo either, as he's young enough to rebound. He simply needs to make the same adjustments that other fighters have made (Manny Pacquiao, for one) once they start running into foes they can't beat by constantly coming forward.

Dougie Fischer summed it up best, as usual, on The Ring Blog: it was too early to expect Alfredo to carry the flag for Mexican fighters. He may get to that point someday; until then, that duty may still fall back on Juan Manuel Marquez - especially if he upsets Floyd Mayweather this summer.

I did not get a chance to catch Andre Berto's easy decision win over Juan Urango, but apparently I didn't miss much. Though my fellow BoxingWatchers were as impressed as ever with AB's blazing fast hands ("He's faster than Mayweather," texted Spartan117), they were also frustrated with what they saw as excessive and unnecessary amounts of running and holding.

The last thing Berto wants to do is turn into another Chad Dawson, even if there's something to be said for being smart enough to realize a Luis Collazo-style war every time out isn't a bright idea. Fortunately, there is a happy medium between a total slugfest and a fight plan that's overly cautious.

Andre just needs to find it, and the sooner, the better. The big name welterweights aren't going to be around for rich fights forever.

As a final thought for today, I'd like to recommend Steve Kim's latest on MaxBoxing.com, as he chats up Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy CEO, to get more insight into the next move for Shane Mosley. Sugar is now on the record as saying he'd fight Pacquiao at a catch weight, but does that mean we'll actually see it happen?

The answer is... maybe. It could be Mosley and Pac-Man, or a rematch with Miguel Cotto, or a fight with Floyd Mayweather. But it's apparently big money fights or bust for Sugar Shane.

Posted by The Franchise

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