Berto wins while Cintron stays alive

By Tom Donelson
Updated: May 31, 2009

Boxing IOWA CITY – Alfredo Angulo faced Kermit Cintron in a battle to determine pecking order in the junior Middleweight division. For Cintron, another loss would set his career back in this division and after a draw against Sergio Martinez in a fight that he should have lost; Cintron needed a victory.

For Angulo, this was a major step up as he looked for a victory and possible championship bout in the future. For the first two minutes of the bout, it was Cintron’s round as he boxed and move against the pressuring Angulo.

But in the last minute, Angulo nailed Cintron with a hard right followed by a combination that sent Cintron into retreat mode. Cintron won the round but Angulo’s power over the last sixty seconds sent a message; Angulo’s power was for real.

In the second round, Angulo’s pressure broke Cintron down as his punches did not have much effect on Angulo as Angulo’s did on Cintron . Angulo’s aggressiveness allowed him to take the second round and it looked like it could be a long evening for Cintron.

The third round saw Cintron turn the previous round as he moved and gave the younger Angulo different angles. In the second round, Angulo moved forward with no fear but in third round, Cintron counter punches finally shook Angulo and one left hook even stunned him.

Cintron dug deep and came up with the right combinations to turn this fight in his favor. At the two minute mark of the fourth round, a Cintron right rocked Angulo and sent the Mexican retreating back in the rope. Angulo found himself challenged as Cintron’s punches actually hurt him unlike the first two rounds.

Angulo came out in the fifth in attack mode and took the round as he pounded the Puerto Rican but the sixth round saw Cintron fight in the center of the round and easily outpoint Angulo as he took a two round lead on my score card. (HBO’S Harold Lederman had Cintron winning by four rounds going into the second half of the fight.)

The eighth round saw Angulo pursue but in the middle of the round, Cintron fought on the inside and scored effectively in one of the closer round of the fights. In the ninth round, Cintron looked fatigue as Angulo pursued his prey but Cintron’s boxing skills resembled a matador against a charging bull and the Matador kept his opponent at bay.

The 10th and 11th rounds were close as Cintron’s skills slowed the bull down but Angulo pursuit may have give the judges a reason to give those rounds to Angulo.

Going into the final stanza, Lederman had Cintron had only a one round lead but I had the fight eight rounds to three as I gave Cintron the 10th and 11th due to his boxing skills.

Cintron came out in the final round with swift combinations but this did little dispel the tough Mexican who landed some bombs over the second half of the round. He won the round as he managed one more push over the last thirty seconds to clinch the round and the fight.

The judges had the fight 116-112 for Cintron which split the difference between Mr. Lederman who had the fight 115-113 and my own scorecard 117-111. Angulo lost his first fight but in losing, he showed that he could fight on the big stage but just not quite experienced enough to beat a leading contender in Kermit Cintron.

Cintron’s boxing skills confused Angulo in the early rounds but Angulo laid some big body shots that appeared to fatigue Cintron but not enough to win . Cintron kept his career alive but Angulo did not hurt his own career as he showed that maybe he has the stuff to be a future champion.

For Angulo, the slow start doomed his chances of winning.

THE MAIN EVENT

Andre Berto defended his portion of the Welterweight champion against the tough Colombian pugilist Juan Urango. Over the first two rounds, Berto’s hand speed gave the Floridian the advantage over the Columbian fighter as he followed the strategy that former Junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton used against Urango, when the British fighter out boxed Urango.

In the middle of the fourth round, both fighters exchanged and nailed each other with solid shots. The fourth round was the closet round with Berto getting the edge but one that judges could have scored in Urango’s favor.

After four rounds, both Lederman and I had the fight scored four rounds to zero in favor of Berto. He returned to his boxing mode in the fight and sixth round as Urango chased ineffectually , winging wild shots that often missed its target and Urango’s face often became the target of the quick Berto’s right.

Going into the second half of the fight, it would appear that Berto was working on a shutout. As the second half began, Berto boxed and nailed Urango with solid rights after solid rights.

The seventh round ended with Berto nailing Urango with two rights as he got caught flat footed. In the eighth round, Berto pushed the strong Urango to the rope and then nailed him with quick combinations.

As the 10th round began, Berto’s quickness and foot movement dominated the fight and Urango failed to cut off the ring throughout the bout. His failure to split the ring in half allowed Berto to escape anytime he needed.

Urango proved to be an awkward fighter and Berto was perfectly willing to box his way to keep his record spotless as oppose to look spectacular. Going into the final round, Berto looked like he was still pitching a shutout or at least coasting to an easy victory against a junior welterweight champion.

So Berto beat a good fighter but he did not look impressive in doing so. Whether this was due to Urango’s awkward style or Berto’s hesitance in fighting a strong fighter, Berto did not give the bigger named fighters in the division reason to fight him.

In boxing, it is economics that matter and if Berto can’t attract a big enough audience, there is no reason for a Cotto or Mosley put their portion of the welterweight title at risk for little money when there are bigger fights available over the horizon.

For Berto, he is just one of many champions in the welterweight division but as of yet, no one is talking about Berto in the same breath as Cotto or Mosley. Judges had the fight 117-111, 118-110, 118-110 but it could have easily been scored 120-108.

A Berto left hook stunned Urango right before the final bell and this merely put an exclamation mark on his victory. Berto won the fight but this bout showed a young fighter who still have much to learn as he looks to challenge the elites of the division.