In defeating Teddy Reid this past Saturday as part of HBO’s solid boxing triple-header, Kermit “The Killer” Cintron made his leap to the coziest lilly pad near the top of the 147-pound division. At 24 years of age and standing 5’ 11”, the Boricua looks to be the ideal welterweight with the pop to zap any bug in the pond.

Tough veteran Teddy Reid was the measuring stick to see if Cintron was ready to take the jump from “contender” to “champion.” After entering the fight without a belt, Cintron made his way out of the ring with both the WBO and lightly regarded NABF titles in tow. “Champion” is now a term we can use when referring to Kermit Cintron.

While Saturday did not prove to be a showcase of boxing for the purists of the sport, it did provide fans with an entertaining display of power and will. Unfortunately for Teddy Reid the power was shown by Cintron, which in turn lead to a serious test of Reid’s will.

It was clear from the opening bell that Reid was going to test Cintron with his two-gun approach to boxing that has now seen each of his past six bouts end before the eighth. Heading into this fight Reid had knocked out four of his past five opponents while the fifth bout saw Reid being knocked out. That kind of aggression makes for entertaining brawls and Cintron was a willing partner.

Entering the fight with 23 wins against no losses and 21 victories coming inside the distance, Cintron had been impressive but untested. After tasting the heaviest of Reid’s heavy hands on several occasions, Cintron is now tested and we are still impressed. Yes, he was hittable. Yes, he could have tried to box more. But in the end he knocked Reid down in the third, cut his eye badly from a punch, and then knocked him down before the fateful end in the eighth. If nothing else, Cintron packs a punch and, with the talent that has defected the division, it just might be enough to keep him on top for a while.

Looking at the welterweight elite, Cory Spinks rules the roost with his WBC and IBF titles while the WBA thinks he’s just Super. The WBO title up for grabs between Reid and Cintron was made available as Antonio Margarito vacated to move up to Junior Middleweight. So, with Margarito out of town, the landscape beyond Spinks becomes rather barren. Sure, Zab Judah recently made his way up to 147, but he hasn’t displayed the same power at welter that he possessed against smaller fish. Judah has gone the distance in three of his past four fights with the one knockout coming over Jamie Rangel, a natural lightweight.

The image of 5’ 6” Judah stepping in against the 5’ 11” Cintron paints a scary picture that surely would end with Zab Judah being knocked onto Queer Street. Judah hit the canvas against light-hitting Spinks and the power punching Cintron would simply be too big and too strong.

Whether or not Cintron is ready for a challenge like the slick southpaw Spinks is a decision his team will have to make. Right now it seems he has the power but not the ability to keep up with Cory. Spinks showed Ricardo Mayorga what he could do with one-punch wonders, not that The Killer is merely that.

In the boxing pond that holds 147-pounders, Kermit Cintron continues to move up in leaps and bounds.