|Kermit Cintron; "I’m Definitely Ready"
INTERVIEW By Gabriel Montoya (Oct 19, 2007) DoghouseBoxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Two nights ago, IBF welterweight titlist Kermit Cintron, in the midst of preparation for his upcoming bout with Jess Feliciano, took the time to speak with me. As always, Kermit was open and honest as we covered subjects ranging from the Feliciano fight to his success in the ring and a possible bout with WBO titleholder Paul Williams. Doghouseboxing.com welcomes back Kermit Cintron.
Gabriel Montoya: So, man, you’ve been in training for quite awhile. How long has it been?
Kermit Cintron: Well, when the fight got [postponed] I went home and spent the summer with the family. So I’ve been training maybe three and half weeks.
GM: Oh. So how you feeling?
KC: I feel good. I’m just excited to get in training mode.
GM: Do you stay on weight? You’re fighting pretty often these days. What’s your walking around weight?
KC: My normal walking around weight is between 158 and 162.
GM: Really? I figured it would be more considering you’ve got a big frame for a welterweight.
GM: Have you had a chance to study much of Feliciano? I know you guys watch a lot of tape.
KC: I’ve watched a little bit of him. Not too much. We’ve haven’t studied much of him. As time gets closer to the fight, we should be studying more of him. Watching more tapes.
GM: What’s your first impression of him from what little you’ve seen?
KC: He hits pretty good. He comes forward. I see he has a great fight under his belt against Delvin Rodriguez. He’s a pretty tough kid. He reminds of a little of David Estrada.
GM: How so?
KC: Just the way he comes forward. When he throws punches, he loops them a little bit.
GM: A thing I noticed with Feliciano is that his power is deceptive. I saw the Rodriguez fight. His punching technique looks like arm punches but he seems to have heavy hands. They aren’t crisp but it’s pretty effective.
KC: You know, I don’t know all what Delvin Rodriguez has got but I know it was a good win for Feliciano. It got him in the spotlight and now he gets to fight for a world title.
GM: Coming off such an explosive, impressive win over Matthyse, and with talk of bigger bouts on down the line, I know you guys are talking with Williams right now, do you feel there is any danger of an emotional letdown or a loss of focus leading into this fight? A danger of looking ahead to other things and overlooking this guy?
KC: No. Not at all. I keep telling everybody that. My focus right now is for the Feliciano fight. I have to be sure and win that before the big fights fall in place. So I don’t look ahead. I’m focused on the Feliciano fight right now. I’ve got to win the fight to move on in my career.
GM: Are you worried at all about winning exciting or is it a win is win?
KC: A win is a win. Doesn’t matter if it’s just by a hair or it’s over quickly. Just so long as you win. That’s all that matters.
GM: I was watching the Taylor fight and he’d been criticized a lot for his performances in the fights preceding the Pavlik fight. It seems in losing he has gotten more respect just because the fight was so great. I’m curious. If you had a choice between losing in an all-time classic war like a Castillo/Corrales 1 or a Pavlik/Taylor or winning a title in an incredibly boring fight, which would you choose?
KC: I definitely wouldn’t want to lose. I think winning a title is more important. It doesn’t matter how the fight goes. It doesn’t matter if it’s an exciting fight or a boring fight, people falling asleep…in the ring…while I’m fighting, you know?
KC: You’re out there risking your life. This is your career. So I’d definitely go with the boring fight.
GM: Okay. That’s honest. You know I don’t think any fighter I have asked that question has chosen “lose”. So you’re not alone.
GM: In the past, we talked about how the difference in you now as opposed to before you trained with Manny is that you box more. I’d like to get a little more specific with that. Is it a matter of more fluidity between defense and offense? In moving between those two?
KC: Manny has me working on both defense and offense. I was basically raw. I’m a slick fighter now. Using my jab more. Moving my head more. Just thinking more in the ring. Just being a slick fighter. Since I’ve been with him I see it. I think I’ve improved a lot with Emmanuel.
GM: Have the fights slowed down for you in sense? Are you able to see things more, openings better? Working with him and the way you guys spar?
KC: Yeah. It’s just that if you listen to Emmanuel for a particular fight, you will come out victorious. You know everything will be fine. Listen to him; listen to your corner, everything works out. I think by not listening, you’re just making it harder for yourself.
GM: Ok. You’ve also been exposed to a lot of travel. You’ve seen all different parts of the world. A lot of different fighters you’ve gotten to work with and watch. Guys on the biggest stages like Wlad. What’s been the biggest change in you as a man with all these experiences you’ve had now?
KC: I’d never traveled the world like I do now. You know before I kept pretty close to the house. Now I’m flying to Spain. Training with Wladimir. Training with him in Austria as well. It’s just a great experience. A great feeling. You know, it’s just something that…if I wasn’t doing this, I’d be working a full time job. And by supporting that full time job, I wouldn’t be seeing the world. It’s just a really great experience for me and I feel blessed to do this as a fighter.
GM: Do you feel like you are more ready for success at this stage of your career than before the Margarito fight?
KC: (confidently) I think so. I think that since the day I started training with Emmanuel, I knew as time went on that he was getting me to that level where you are ready to reach success in your boxing career. And I think I am at that level right now. I’m definitely ready. Having Emmanuel and the great trainer that he is, knowing the sport; it’s going to help.
GM: Cool. Being an Internet writer, I keep in touch with the fans quite a bit. I’ve noticed among the fans that there has been equal parts praise and criticism over your knockout of Matthyse. You made it look so easy some don’t believe you’re this improved fighter. Some people, including Paul Williams and his trainer, claim that Williams softened him up for you. How do you respond to that?
KC: That’s just people talking. They’re just…especially Paul Williams. I think that Matthyse only had like two weeks notice for the Paul Williams fight. And he gave Paul Williams hell. And I made it look easy. It’s just… I made it look easy because I listened to Emmanuel. We trained hard for the fight. I don’t care what people say. I’m in the ring. Nobody else. And I’m just doing my job.
GM: I talked to Margarito last week at the Barrera fight and I asked him about you. He said he was very interested in rematching you and was very respectful of you. How do you respond to that? Would you like to get that bout over the sooner the better?
KC: Yeah, you know. It’s a fight that I am always going to want. He’s the only guy that I lost to and you will always want that revenge back. He’s a great fighter and a will retire a great champion as well. I thought the fight with Paul Williams was much closer than they had it. It’s definitely a fight that I would want.
GM: Who do you pick in Cotto/Mosley and who do you pick in the Hatton/Mayweather fights?
KC: Floyd/Hatton, I’d pick Floyd. I think Floyd is sharp. Good defense. I think that he will pick him apart. He’s going to pick his shots. And in Cotto/Mosley, I always root for my nationality. I’m Puerto Rican, I’m from Puerto Rico so I’m going to root for the Puerto Rican fighter and that’s Miguel Cotto. And I hope he wins.
GM: And maybe we can get a little Puerto Rican unification bout down the line.
KC: Yeah, you know, if it happens it happens.
GM: Well cool, man. I know it’s late where you guys are so I’ll let you go. I appreciate you talking with me. Thanks a lot.
KC: Thanks for the interview. Anytime.
GM: Cool. Any closing thoughts for the fans?
KC: For my fans out there, if you can’t make it to L.A., tune in to Showtime PPV November 23rd and watch Kermit Cintron win again.
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