King’s Promotions hopes to continue its hot streak tonight
This past Saturday night at the infamous 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia, King’s Promotions put on a show that featured a fantastic main event worthy of “Fight of the Year” consideration. As Tyrone Brunson stopped Kermit Cintron in five action packed rounds. It was the cherry on the top of a quality card that featured up-and-coming local talent in entertaining fights. It was the type of card any promoter would be proud of. While King’s Promotions was indeed proud of the outcome for the evening, about 72 hours later, it’s putting on another card that looks like it has the potential to be just as entertaining. Unlike the show in Philadelphia, this card will be broadcast live on FS1 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
For Marshall Kauffman, who runs King’s Promotions, these two cards are just sample sizes of the great run of events that fight fans in the northeast have come to expect from the promotional outfit. Back in March, King’s was responsible for yet another Fight of the Year-caliber contest when heavyweight slugger Amir Mansour won a close decision against Kauffman’s son Travis. Much like the fights in Bethlehem, that fight was the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card.
King’s Promotions, while having a relationship with the PBC, has wisely also invested in promoting its own shows throughout the northeast. They have featured talent from the Washington D.C. area and have put on shows in venues like the Sugar House Casino and the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. They are doing this while staying true to their home base in Reading, Pennsylvania. A smaller city in the northeast part of the state, which, along with neighboring Allentown, has become its own hotbed of young talent. Shows have taken place in that area in venues like the Sands and the much bigger Santander Arena.
Kauffman has done a great job of matching fighters from areas like Reading and Allentown, with fighters from Philadelphia, to make for quality fights and build sort of a budding rivalry between the two urban settings with world-class pugilistic talent. Kudos to King’s Promotions for hosting these clashes in local venues where they are able to draw sizable crowds that are always enthusiastic when coming out to support their local fighter of choice.
This was definitely the case on Saturday night in Philadelphia. As the crowd was a good mix of Reading and Philadelphia supporters for the main event, Kermit Cintron, of Reading, and Tyrone Brunson, of Philadelphia, battled for the USA Pennsylvania State junior middleweight championship in a fight scheduled for 10 rounds. No one expected it to go the distance and the two gladiators didn’t disappoint.
After controlling the early portion of the fight with his long jab, Cintron started to open up and land power shots in round three, despite being rocked by a Brunson right hand in round two. Business picked up in the fourth round when a left hook not only stunned Brunson but floored him off the ropes. Brunson regained his footing and tried to battle back but was dropped again, this time by a thudding right hand from Cintron. To his credit, Brunson took the eight-count and rose to his feet to beat the count. This occurred as the clapper for the 10-second mark in the round was sounded, leaving Cintron little time to try to close the show for good. As the bell rang, it was clear that Cintron was in total control of the fight, as well as the scorecards.
Joe Pastore, Cintron’s trainer, implored him to return to the jab for round five and let another knockdown come to him. He clearly didn’t want Cintron to engage with Brunson on the inside, based on the fact that Brunson is indeed an inside bomber. As action picked up in the fifth, Cintron looked to end things but was caught with a boom stick of a right hand from Brunson and was just as shocked as everyone in attendance that he wound up looking up the referee Shawn Clark.
Questions have been asked of Cintron throughout his career regarding his heart and determination, when the going gets tough. Simply put, anyone who dares to ask those questions ever again doesn’t know this sport. Cintron was clearly hurt and was beyond just buzzed. He still rose to his feet and tried to sturdy himself to continue.
As the fight continued, Brunson, who, by now, regained all of his faculties, rushed across the ring and landed another big shot that floored Cintron a second time. Again, Cintron beat the count; however, the end was clearly in sight and Brunson closed the show with one last combination for the third and final knockdown of the round, stopping Cintron at 1:21 of the fifth.
Brunson, 25-6-2 (23), is now in position to continue pushing toward bigger paydays. While he may have trouble with taller boxers at junior middleweight and middleweight. He possesses the great equalizer that will always make him entertaining to watch. As for Cintron, who falls to 39-6-3 (30), many may call for this power-punching former IBF welterweight champion to call it a day. However, it would not be hard to understand if he wants to continue and gun for one last shot at glory at his natural weight class: 147 pounds.
Cintron looked the best he has in…well, to be honest, a long time. He was far removed from his disappointing performance in Mexico against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, over five-and-a-half years ago. He just got caught by another big puncher. Like Brunson, he possesses the great equalizer, especially at his more natural weight. That said, one last run to the top may be difficult, considering the always-ominous risk-versus-reward issue to which many managers subscribe in the current landscape of the sport.
While it was a great main event, the remainder of the card featured rising talents like Steven Ortiz, 7-0 (2), and Jerome Conquest, 8-2 (1), both Philly lightweights, who were tested in their victories. Conquest was dropped by the game Jae Ho Kim, 6-4-1 (2), originally from South Korea, now fighting out of Philadelphia. Conquest rose to his feet and out-boxed Kim for every other moment of the fight, winning a six-round unanimous decision. Conquest is an active fighter, who, at the age of 31, understands he is also fighting Father Time. Despite having a limited amateur career, his boxing acumen is high, due to the countless hours he has spent in Philadelphia gyms working with seasoned pros.
On the other hand, Ortiz has a decorated amateur career and he used that background to beat the tough Tyrome Jones, 4-1 (1). Jones was dropped by Ortiz with power shots that landed after the types of moves only fighters, who have spent their entire lives in the gym make to set up punches. Ortiz and Conquest are both fighters to watch in the future.
Brandon Robinson, 4-1 (3), also of Philadelphia, scored a second round stoppage, while Marcus Bates, 7-0-1 (6), of Washington D.C., and Chaise Nelson, 6-1 (3), of Mansfield, Ohio, put on exciting impressive performances in unanimous decision victories. Victor Vazquez, 8-3 (3), fighting out of Yonkers, New York, won an impressive and deserved unanimous decision over Philadelphian Anthony Burgin, 10-4 (2).
So just as the high from that great night of action comes down, we look forward to tonight’s show at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center that will feature a rematch between welterweight prospects Miguel Cruz, 15-0 (11) and Alex Martin, 13-1 (5). It’s a classic matchup of boxer versus puncher, with Cruz playing the rule of slugger, which is how he squeaked out a victory last January. Martin claims he has made the proper adjustments as the Chicago native claims the fight will not go the distance.
Sam Figueroa, 11-1 (4), whose only loss came against Cruz last year, takes on Jamal James, a 6-foot-2 welterweight with a record of 20-1 (9), in the co-feature. This card also features a good featherweight match-up between Isaelin Florian, 6-0 (3), and Avery Sparrow, 6-1 (3), as well as an all-Allentown battle between undefeated junior welterweight Jesus Perez, 2-0 (1), and Christian Molina, 4-2 (3).
King’s Promotions is not resting on its laurels one bit. As they continue to stay active in the area, promoting and pushing their own talent, fighters like Christopher Booker and Frankie DeAlba, King’s Promotions plans to continue riding this wave of entertaining events throughout the dog days of summer and beyond.