Cintron beats Suarez for vacant IBF welterweight title
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Kermit Cintron stopped Mark Suarez in the fifth round to win the vacant IBF welterweight title Saturday night.
After building a lead the previous two rounds with single power shots, Cintron combined rights and left hooks to the head to stagger Suarez in the fifth. Cintron's combinations eventually forced Suarez to kneel and take a knockdown in the bout at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
When Suarez reached his feet after the eight count, Cintron (27-1, 25 KOs) was ready with additional combinations. Cintron, a native of Puerto Rico, continued to stun Suarez, of Riverside, Calif., with rights to the head.
A defenseless Suarez (25-3) stood near the ropes as Cintron scored with a flurry of unanswered shots to the head, forcing referee Frank Santore to stop the fight at 2:53 of the round.
The IBF belt became vacant when former champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. renounced his title to fight a more lucrative bout against WBC champion Carlos Baldomir on Nov. 4 in Las Vegas.
Cintron and Suarez each weighed in at 146 pounds for the bout.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press