SOUTH EL MONTE, California – To say that Antonio Margarito will show up well-conditioned for his April 23 welterweight showdown with Kermit Cintron would be an understatement.

Margarito, the current WBO welterweight titleholder, sparred a total of ten rounds with the trio of reality TV’s Sergio Mora, Mexican junior middleweight Marco Antonio Rubio, and up-and-coming welterweight prospect Francisco Rincon from Dallas, Texas.

First went Mora, the East L.A. middleweight, who started aggressively landing flush left hooks to the head of Margarito. Antonio seemed to lose focus as he marched right after Mora and proceeded to fight up in close.

Gradually, it became evident that Margarito was doing damage with his hooks to the head and to the body of Mora who went into retreat mode.

Mora clowned around, waiving his arms as if to show Margarito he wasn’t hurt. Margarito paid no attention and connected with four hard punches to the head and to the body.

For the remaining two rounds Mora was in defense mode; or better yet, survival mode, as Margarito landed hard downstairs with his straight right and lead uppercuts which connected throughout the four rounds.

Marco Antonio Rubio did not fair much better as his early flurries were quickly neutralized by Margarito’s effective body punching. In this session Margarito also displayed subtle improvements in his defense, primarily by keeping his guard up higher than usual.

And poor Francisco Rincon probably got the worst end of the Margarito beat down, as the game youngster was taken apart piece by piece by Antonio Margarito who seemed to be getting stronger.

“We’ve been working on defending against his straight right,” Margarito said. “That and his uppercuts are his biggest weapons. But he lacks the experience that I have. I know I can keep going strong until the end of the fight.”

If you factor in the fact that Cintron has gone through a long period of inactivity which saw him go through surgery on his right arm, Margarito's statement may not be that far-fetched.

“Honestly, I hope he is at 100% come fight time. I want to fight Cintron at his best, because I will definitely be ready!”

I wouldn’t doubt it.

(By Hector Duarte Jr.)