Cintron decision will remain loss for now, head of state athletic commission rules
The executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission has ruled that Kermit Cintron's technical split-decision loss to super-welterweight Paul Williams on Saturday at Carson's Home Depot Center will remain a defeat, although the entire commission can still hear Cintron's appeal at its next meeting in July, a state spokesman said.
Cintron's promoter and manager earlier Monday appealed to Executive Officer George Dodd to change Cintron's loss to a no-contest after the Puerto Rican former world welterweight champion became entangled with Williams and stumbled through the ropes, falling out of the ring and crashing to the floor during the fourth round.
Ringside Dr. Paul Wallace told The Times on Monday that Cintron twice told doctors he was unable to continue because of back pain, prompting Wallace to instruct referee Lou Moret that the fight should be stopped.
California rules allowed the bout to then be sent to the judges' scorecards, and while one judge gave Cintron all four rounds, another gave Williams all four rounds. The tiebreaker went to a judge who gave Williams three of the four rounds, although the fourth was never completed.
"If ever a fight cried out to be a no-contest," Cintron promoter Lou DiBella said, "this is the one."
DiBella said he received a text message from Cintron on Monday after reading Dr. Wallace's comments on latimes.com, and the fighter said he "may have said no," to the question of whether or not he wants to continue fighting, but that he was also "gasping for air" at the time and didn't fully understand the gravity of the situation.
"It was a confusing time," DiBella said. "No one was telling Kermit what the rule was, how he had a reasonable time to recover and then decide if he wanted to resume. There was no coherent instruction as to what was happening."
Wallace said he believed Cintron fully understood what was at stake, and had also told the doctors he was not experiencing any head or neck pain from the fall. The fighter was ultimately placed on a gurney with his head stabilized so he could be removed from the arena and transported to a hospital for supervision.
The loss was only the third in Cintron's career, following two defeats at the hands of former world welterweight champion Antonio Margarito.
DiBella expressed outrage that Williams' promoter, Dan Goossen, is hurriedly moving to put this event behind the fighter and move on to fights in the welterweight division, against possible foes including Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, instead of a rematch. DiBella said he is "angered" at Goossen's implications that Cintron wasn't that seriously hurt.
"Giving Kermit a loss is unfair, and will have a serious impact on his ability in this business," DiBella said. "Calling this fight a no-contest stops Goossen from doing exactly what he's doing right now."
Photo: Kermit Cintron, left, and Paul Williams pose during a prefight news conference. Credit: HBO