Kermit Cintron's team will appeal for no-contest in loss to Paul Williams
The promoter for Kermit Cintron said he and the manager for the former world welterweight champion from Puerto Rico would file appeals to the California State Athletic Commission on Monday to alter Cintron's controversial Saturday night technical split-decision loss to Paul Williams at Carson's Home Depot Center to a no-contest.
Lou DiBella, Cintron's promoter, told The Times on Monday that Cintron should not be pinned with a defeat that would affect future fight negotiations based on his accidental fourth-round dive through the ropes and onto the hardened tennis-court floor outside the boxing ring.
DiBella said not only did California rely on scoring rules that trumped the Assn. of Boxing Commissions' guidelines, which say a technical decision can only be invoked after four full rounds, but that the scoring was problematic. One judge had Cintron winning all four rounds, another had Williams winning all four rounds, and all three scored the fourth round even though it was never completed.
"This is not right," DiBella said. "This has to be a no-contest."
Cintron's appeal also leans on state rules that say a fighter who falls from the ring should be given a reasonable amount of time to recover before the fight is stopped, DiBella said.
However, the ringside physician who recommended referee Lou Moret pronounce the fight over said he did so only because Cintron told two ringside doctors he could not continue because of back pain.
"I did say I wanted the fight stopped because the fighter twice said he could not continue," Dr. Paul Wallace told The Times on Monday. "He was asked, 'Can you continue?' and he said 'no.'
"Twice. If he had mentioned to me something like, 'Give me a moment ... ,' I understand; these are warriors. Any hint that he still wanted to participate we would've given that to him. We would have got him up and given him a second evaluation."
DiBella said Cintron "got the wind knocked out of him" as he tumbled from the ring to a table to the floor, and was instructed by medical personnel to stay down to ensure he was OK. Cintron was ultimately taken from the arena on a stretcher with his head braced.
Wallace said it was his "clinical opinion" that Cintron could have stood and walked from the arena floor, but instead Wallace said he and fellow ringside doctor Eddie Ayoub opted to exercise "the highest level of protection for him."
Wallace said he saw no contusion or bleeding anywhere on Cintron's body, only "some mouth redness consistent with being punched. There was no sign to say he was severely hurt."
"He wanted to continue fighting," DiBella said. "He just needed some time."
Wallace said Cintron "did change his mind" only after the fight was declared over, saying, "I want to fight, don't take the fight from me."
Wallace contacted The Times in order to refute comments made by DiBella immediately after the bout that Cintron had hit his head on a television monitor atop a ringside table, and again on the ground. DiBella told reporters a ringside doctor had assessed Cintron was "groggy."
Not true, says Wallace.
"[Cintron] never said a thing about his head, he was never unconscious," Wallace said. "He was asked about pain in his head and neck and said no. He pointed to his back.
State commission representatives were not immediately available for comment Monday, but Williams' promoter, Dan Goossen, said his fighter should keep the victory.
"What everyone has lost track of is that the correct decision should be a technical knockout," Goossen said. "This was not an intentional foul. It was accidental, and just like if you suffer a sprained ankle or hurt your hand and can't fight anymore in the first round, the unified rules say the other guy wins by TKO.
"I was sitting right there. I'm not a doctor and I can't get in [Cintron's] mind, but all I can think is what I'd do if I was a fighter: I'd be fighting for my rights, moving. If you lay there like you can't move, it can give the wrong impression."
A spokesman for the athletic commission said Executive Officer George Dodd will begin a review of the fight result, along with a review of the rule that allowed the bout to be sent to the judges' scorecards before four rounds were complete.
Goossen said he's not interested in staging a Williams-Cintron rematch, and instead wants to explore fights in the welterweight division, assessing that Williams is the most attractive alternate option for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao if they can't make a super-fight.
Otherwise, Williams would like a shot at welterweight champions Shane Mosley or Andre Berto, Goossen said.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Kermit Cintron celebrates his victory over Jesse Feliciano in the IBF welterweight title fight at Staples Center on November 23, 2007. Credit: Robert Laberge / Getty Images.