By Ken Hissner: In talking with that well-known and well-respected gym owner, manager, advisor, trainer, cut-man, and former business owner from Reading, Pa, Rich Ormsbee, we discussed his city’s two world champions he was involved with.
That being the WBA Super Middleweight champion Steve “Lightning” Little and the IBF Welterweight champion Kermit “The Killer” Cintron. In Cintron, he only worked as his cut-man.
Little won the WBA Super Middleweight title in February of 1994 in a major upset with a 21-13-2 record defeating the champion Michael “Second To” Nunn, who was 42-1 at the time, at Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, UK. It was the co-Main Event to WBC Super Middleweight champion Nigel “Dark Destroyer” Benn’s title defense.
Little, 10-2, at the time, had been in with such well-known opponents whose record at the time included in with 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist and future WBA Welterweight champion Mark Breland, 2-0, in April of 1985, losing a six-round decision.
The following year Little, 11-5-1, defeated former WBA Welterweight champion Pipino Cuevas, 31-11, in March of 1986. In August, he defeated former NABF champion David “Machine Gun” Braxton 37-2.
In August of 1987, Little lost to Kronk’s Tyrone Trice, 25-1, by decision.
In his next fight, he lost by one point on all cards to David Gutierrez, 16-0-1, who never fought again, retiring after this fight with a severe neck injury.
In April of 1988, Little lost to future IBF Welterweight champion Robert “Bam Bam” Hines, 21-1-1, for the IBF USBA Super Welterweight title. In December, he lost to future world Super Light Middleweight champion “Terrible” Terry Norris, 18-2.
In Little’s next fight, he lost to Montreal’s future WBC Super Welterweight champion Dave Hilton, 25-0-1, in Atlantic City. Though losing two in a row, he got a world title fight losing to WBO Super Welterweight champion John David Jackson, 18-0, at the Palace, Auburn Hills, MI.
In Little’s next fight, he lost to Philadelphia’s Tyrone “The Wyandanch Warrior” Frazier, 17-2-3, which was his fourth straight loss. Four fights later, in a rematch, Little started turning his career around, defeating Frazier, 19-3-3, in September of 1991.
In Little’s next fight, he drew with Merqui “El Corombo” Sosa, 19-2 in January of 1992 at the legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia. Two more wins and Little got a world title fight with Nunn, 42-1, as previously mentioned in one of boxing’s biggest upsets! In his first defense, he lost to Nevada’s “Fabulous” Frankie Liles, 24-1, in August in Argentina in the co-Main Event to the vacant WBA title fight featuring Argentina’s Jorge Castro defeating former WBA champion Reggie “Sweet” Johnson.
Not fighting again until March of 1996, some 19 months later, Little, 22-14-2, won the WBC FECARBOX Super Middleweight title defeating Colombia’s Camilo Alarcon, 13-1, in Miami. He would fight for two more titles losing for the vacant IBO Cruiser title to former two-division world champion James “Lights Out” Toney, 54-4-2, in Biloxi, MS, and later to IBF USBA Cruiser champion Arthur “King” Williams, 26-4-1, in the Pocono Mountains of PA.
Little’s final record was 25-17-3 with six stoppages in November of 1998, drawing with Courtney “Pound for Pound” Butler, 19-4-1. On January 30, 2000, Little passed away from Colon Cancer at age 34.
“Boxer Bobby Heath and I were at Steve’s bedside in the hospital until when the nurse came in with family members at his death,” said long-time friend Rich Ormsbee.
Little was trained by James “Corky” Taylor. His cut-man was Rich Ormsbee. His promoter was Don King.
Ormsbee had this to say about Little: “I have known Steve Little since he was 16, and he was the nicest kid to work with. He was a good amateur and would fight anyone! He didn’t care about the weight difference. His actual weight was 147, and he would take a fight at 160.
He would overeat to make the heavier weight. In 1997 he, 25-15-2, beefed up to 184 ½ to fight Arthur “King” Williams, 26-4-1, at 189, for the IBF USBA title losing a decision when I worked as his cut-man. His opponent entered the ring at 201. I told him after the fight that he should get in shape and fight in his own weight class. I have all of these memories of Steve.
Cintron, 23-0, won his first title, stopping NABF welterweight and WBO Interim champion Teddy “Two Gun” Reid, 22-5-1, in July of 2004, in Houston, Texas. This earned him a world title fight losing to WBO Welterweight champion Antonio “El Tornado de Tijuana” Margarito by stoppage in April of 2005 in Las Vegas.
Two fights later, Cintron, 25-1, in an IBF welterweight eliminator for the No. 2 spot, stopped “King” David Estrada, 18-2, in Palm Beach, Florida. In his next fight, he won the vacant IBF Welterweight title stopping WBO NABO champion and No. 1 ranked Mark “Poison” Suarez, 25-2, in October of 2006, at the Convention Center in Palm Beach, Florida.
After two title defenses, including Argentina’s Walter “El Terrible” Matthysse, 26-1, in Atlantic City, Cintron had a rematch with the only person to ever defeat him, Margarito, 35-5, again losing to him by stoppage in April of 2008, losing his title. Though he wouldn’t fight for the world title again for some three years, his remaining career up until then was in some interesting fights over the next ten years.
In his next fight after losing the title, Cintron defeated former IBF Light Welterweight champion African Lovemore “The Black Panther” Ndou, 46-10-1. Then he drew with WBC Super Welterweight Interim champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, 44-1-1.
Then Cintron defeated WBO Inter-Continental champion Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, 15-0, in what was to be a WBC Light Middleweight title eliminator, though he never got a world title fight. Two fights later, he lost by split technical decision due to four rounds being completed to former WBO Welterweight champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams, 38-1, when he fell out of the ring and injured his shoulder in May of 2010 in Carson, California.
Fourteen months later, Cintron returned to the ring, losing to Carlos “King” Molina, 18-4-2, but the following month defeated Antwone “The Truth” Smith, 20-2-1, in August of 2011.
In November, Cintron got his final title shot, losing to WBC Super Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 38-0-1, in five rounds. After that, he would go 6-1-2 before his final fight in February of 2018 against Marquis Taylor, 8-1, when in the third round, he was cut from an accidental head butt ending the bout in a no-contest at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA. Taylor would go on to win the NABF Junior Welter title. Cintron ended his career with a 39-6-3 with 30 stoppages record.
Cintron was trained by Marshall Kauffman, Manny Steward, Ronnie Shields, and Joe Pastore. His manager was Kauffman. He was promoted by Main Events.