When last seen in a boxing ring, former welterweight titlist Kermit Cintron was getting the stuffing beaten out of him by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in a junior middleweight world title fight in November 2011.
Alvarez dominated the entire fight, dropped Cintron in the fourth round and knocked him out in the fifth round in Mexico City.
The Puerto Rico-born Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KOs), 33, who grew up in Reading, Pa., has been out of the ring for 16 months since that beating and has lost three of his last four fights, including a woeful performance against Carlos Molina and a bizarre technical-decision loss to Paul Williams when Cintron fell out of the ring and did not continue.
Now Cintron is looking to resume his career -- at welterweight -- and is scheduled to face Adrian Granados (11-2-1, 7 KOs) on March 22 (ESPN2) in Chicago on the undercard of super middleweight Donovan George's bout with David Lopez.
"I feel that its always been my weight," said Cintron, who has not fought at 147 since 2008. "I took my last couple fights at 154 pounds because they were good opportunities, but you know I was always a better fighter at 147. I didn't gain the weight of a true 154-pounder. I went up to 153 pounds on fight night while the guys I was fighting went up to 170 to 175 pounds. I feel that 147 pounds is where I belong. I'm already on weight and I have a week left. It was never a problem to make welterweight."
After the loss to Alvarez, Cintron said he didn't want to think about boxing anymore and took the extended break.
"I just wanted to go home and spend time with my kids," Cintron said. "My family is important to me and I think that going away for camps eight or nine weeks at a time was getting to me. I was focusing too much on what my kids were doing, wondering if they were OK. After a while, my kids started asking when I'm fighting again? They said, 'We want to see you on TV.' My kids still want me fight, so here I am."
Cintron is now working with trainer Milton Santiago, who he has known since he was eight, and recently signed with promoter Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing.
"If I wanted to come back, the only person I had in mind to train me was Milton," Cintron said. "He's the true coach that brought me to the gym when I was in school. So I'm going back to my roots, back to basics. We've been working together the past six months. I'm not a shot fighter. I had a rough year, that's it. You'll see. I have lots left. I have dedicated myself to the sport once again. I'm feeling great and I've improved. You guys will see. I just want to fight. I'm excited to come back after 16 months off. I'm excited and rejuvenated and ready to go."