By Jason Pribila: On Saturday Night in Philadelphia junior middleweights Kermit Cintron (39-5-3, 30 KO) and Tyrone Brunson (24-6-2, 22 KO) will square off in a bout that will present both fighters with the equivalent of a “win or go home” scenario.
Normally when fighters bring a combined 52 knockouts into the ring with them they are plying their trade in front of a national audience in a bout that has major title and pound for pound implications. Instead Cintron and Brunson will face off for the right to be called a Pennsylvania “State Champion” far away from the glitz of casinos and the spotlight of premium cable networks.
The latter was not lost on Marshall Kauffman, whose King’s Promotions Banner will be hanging above the ring at the 2300 Arena.
“We have two of the sport’s great punchers willing to face each other willing to put it on the line,” Kauffman stated at stated at Tuesday’s press conference.
“It should be on National TV, but we are bringing it to you right her in Philadelphia.”
It what seem like a lifetime ago, Kauffman guided a young Cintron to a world title and the Main Event of an ESPN Boxing PPV against Antonio Margarito. The emotions of facing the first loss of his career overcame Cintron, and he would be forever plagued with lingering questions of whether or not he was mentally tough enough to reach the mountaintop.
Cintron would work with legendary trainer Emanuel Steward at the famous Kronk Gym, and he soon found himself again in the ring with Margarito. Another loss in front of a national audience to Margarito would send Cintron’s career on a dozen year roller-coaster in which the highs were never quite as high and the lows were never quite as low as what he had experienced in his first thirty-one professional bouts.
On the eve of Cintron-Margarito II, there was an unknown fighter making his professional debut at the Legendary Blue Horizon, in Philadelphia.
Tyrone Brunson fought for the first time as a professional on April 22, 2005. He wasted little time showing off is punching power, as he knocked out his foe in the opening round.
Brunson must have soon realized that the quicker he dismissed his foe, the quicker he would get paid. He was soon making headlines for not only knocking out opponents, but knocking them out before the sound of the bell would ring….to end the opening round.
After 19 professional bouts, Brunson had 19 first round knockouts.
All Brunson had done as a professional was to dismiss whoever was put in front of him more often than any other fighter in North American boxing history.
Brunson would soon find out that along with national attention comes national criticism.
Unfortunately for Brunson, his historic streak came on the heels of Edwin Valero’s streak of collecting 18 first round knockouts.
Soon, Brunson was criticized over something that he could not control. Boxing pundits pointed out that the combined record of Brunson’s opponents to date 60-94-8 paled in comparison to the record of Valero’s opponents 112-102-17.
Many also pointed out that Team Brunson sought out poor competition in New Zealand in order to keep his knockout streak alive.
When the steak ended he was held to a 6-round Draw, and his combined post-streak record stands 5-6-2, 3 KO.
Brunson’s streak was not mentioned as part of the promotion, but the fact that Cintron had faced the much better competition was not lost on the promoter or either fighter.
Kauffman was the first to point this out on Tuesday.
“Kermit has been to the top, as a two-time champion,” Kauffman said. “Ty Brunson needs to take advantage of this opportunity, or it is back to Club Fighting.”
Brunson also let it be known that he was aware of Cintron’s credentials and punching power.
“I sparred up in the Poconos to help him (Cintron) prepare for a world title. I felt that right hand, and I took it like a champ,” Brunson recalled.
Cintron showed mutual respect for his foe, but he feels that he has the better chin of the two, and that will be the difference on Saturday night.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity,” Cintron said. “I’ve been in there with everyone from Canelo to Paul Williams. This is another fight where I could show my skills and come out victorious.”
There will sure to be at least one observer on Saturday night with keen interest on the outcome of the fight. On June 10, super welterweight, Thomas LaManna improved to 23-2, 9 KO as he out-boxed Carlos Velasquez over 8 rounds in nearby Atlantic City.
Immediately after the fight, LaManna made it be known with whom he wanted to mix it up with next.
“I would like to fight Kermit Cintron if he should win his fight with Tyrone Brunson. Maybe he will stop ducking me?”
LaManna continued, “I want to fight a big name like Cintron, Zab Judah, or a rematch with Dusty Harrison.”
Don’t expect to hear Marshall Kauffman comment about who is next for Cintron or Brunson following the main event on Saturday. He will pull the doors down at the 2300 Arena and hit the road on 476 North to Bethlehem, USA where he will be promoting his second card in 72-hours.
Kauffman will have little time to digest the outcome of Cintron-Brunson before focusing on Miguel Cruz (15-0, 11 KOs) and Alex Martin (13-1, 5 KOs) who will meet in a 10-round welterweight rematch of their January clash on Tuesday, June 27 in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 live from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa.
“When we could put on great fights, it allows us (as promoters) to see what kind of a fighter we have. We could then make great fight cards from top to bottom,” Kauffman explained.
“We need the fans to keep coming back so we could continue to put on these great shows.”