Cintron falls out of ring, Williams wins decision
CARSON, Calif. (AP) – Paul Williams earned a bizarre victory Saturday night when Kermit Cintron wasn’t allowed to continue after tumbling through the ropes and landing on a ringside table early in the fourth round.
The 154-pound bout ended with Cintron strapped to a stretcher and wearing a neck brace, although he wanted to get up and keep fighting.
Williams (39-1, 27 KOs) was awarded a technical victory by split decision because he led on two of the three judges’ scorecards. California rules require a decision if a fight ends by injury after the fourth round begins.
“It’s a strange way to get a win,” Williams said. “I’ll try to fight better the next time. … I definitely don’t want to see a guy get hurt. I wanted to hurt him with a punch, not by him falling out of the ring.”
The bout between two hard-punching veteran fighters began with three fairly uneventful rounds, but ended with an unbelievable accident that could have been tragic.
Williams and Cintron exchanged big shots in the early moments of the fourth, with Williams snapping back Cintron’s neck with two big left hands, before Williams connected with another punch and tried to clinch.
But Williams slipped and fell to the canvas, and Cintron (32-3-1) tripped over Williams’ left leg. He went headfirst through the ropes, hitting a monitor and the table with his head.
Cintron stayed down on his side for several minutes, but the Puerto Rican fighter eventually said he felt fine to keep going. The ringside doctor wouldn’t allow it, and Cintron was taken away from the Home Depot Center in an ambulance.
Before the bout, Cintron’s corner argued with California officials when told the fight would be under the state’s rules, which require the bout to be decided if it ends after just three rounds. Cintron wanted to fight under the Association of Boxing Commissions’ common rules.
Judge Jen Kin scored it 40-36 for Williams, while Fritz Werner favored Williams 39-37. Jerry Cantu saw a completely different fight, scoring it 40-36 for Cintron.
“No one really knew who won that fight,” said an incensed Lou DiBella, Cintron’s promoter. “There wasn’t enough fight to be judged. It was 3 1/2 rounds. That’s not a fight. … There should be a rematch, and he’s a man’s man. I think he’ll give him a rematch.”