With a new corner and a new focus, welterweight Kermit Cintron delivered a familiar result Wednesday night at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. After trading brutal punches with David Estrada for nine rounds, Cintron opened the 10th with a right-right-left combination that knocked Estrada down. After Estrada got up, Cintron quickly put Estrada against the ropes, forcing the referee to stop the bout at 1:13 in the IBF welterweight elimination title bout that was scheduled for 12 rounds.
With the win, Cintron is now the No. 2 contender -increasing his chances of facing Floyd Mayweather,Antonio Margarito, Sugar Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya or Fernando Vargas for championship implications. "I thought I was going to catch up earlier, in the sixth or seventh round, but I finally caught him with the perfect shot," Cintron said. "It was a helluva fight, I give him credit.
"This was one of my best fights to date." Estrada (18-3), who trains in Pembroke Pines, was hoping to regain his No. 2 spot in the WBC rankings after losing to Mosley last year.
He came out the aggressor, often ducking under Cintron's jabs and getting inside. After the first two even rounds, he hurt Cintron with an uppercut, opening a gash above his right eye in the third.After Estrada put Cintron on the ropes early in the fourth, Cintron came back effectively, landing jabs and winning the round with counterpunches. Cintron seemed to gain his confidence by the fifth round; he nearly ended the battle in the sixth when he unleashed a flurry of punches to Estrada's head, forcing Estrada to hold on for life until the bell ended.
"I was trying to set him up with the body and use my jab," Cintron added. Though Cintron came out in the seventh hoping to end it, Estrada slipped under a wild right and landed an uppercut to Cintron's mouth that opened another small cut.
The eighth and ninth rounds appeared even; both boxers appeared to be tiring somewhat. Cintron came out quickly in the 10th, however, belting Estrada with some good combinations before knocking him down. "I watched the films of my fight last year with Margarito," Cintron said of his only loss. "That wasn't me out there. I was there physically but not mentally. I had a lot of things going on in my personal life.
"I'm back now; I got a brand new team and I'm focused. You could see it tonight." Estrada was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures after the bout; mainly to treat dehydration.