INDIO, Calif., June 21, 2019 – Andrew “El Chango” (The Monkey) Cancio of Blythe, California started right where he left off in February in Friday’s rematch with Alberto ”Explosivo” Machado of Puerto Rico, sending the former champion home without the title he lost to Cancio in their first bout.
“I told you guys. It wasn’t a fluke, I’m here to stay at130 pounds,” said Cancio. “Let’s bring on the other world champions out there; I’m ready.”
Some things never change: left hook takes out Machado
Call it round five. Same venue. Same opponent. Same outcome. Cancio (21-4-2, 16 KOs) drove straight to the body of Machado (21-2, 27 KOs) from the opening bell. Machado seemed unsettled at the beginning of the fight, but settled down and landed several good right hooks in exchanges. Cancio was cut during one of those exchanges above the left eye.
“I knew it was above my eye, it wasn’t getting in my eye yet,” said Cancio. “We stayed composed we’re still in a fight. I knew if I put pressure on him and started landing my combinations I could slow him down. I showed it once again, I’m a hard hitter.”
Hard is an understatement. Cancio’s power is impressive and he put it to work. The taller, lankier Machado presents the perfect target for Cancio. Thought trainer Freddie Roach told Machado to fight behind the jab, Cancio wouldn’t let him get away.
In the third round, Cancio delivered the same textbook left hook to the liver he used to stop Machado in the first fight. “He thought I was going for the check hook upstairs. Elbow was up, body was wide open so I took it. It was a clean shot for him to go down on that one, I really threw it in there that time,” said Cancio.
Cancio kept his cool in the neutral corner as referee Raul Caiz Sr. counted Machado out at 1:01 of the round. “I thought he was going to get up, but I think he knew if he got up, I would just keep moving forward. It’s hard to recover from body shots,” said Cancio.
Cancio: ‘I’m here to stay’
“I give it to Machado, he’s a true champion, he tried to get his belt back. But I told you guys I’m here to stay. I want the world to know it wasn’t a fluke. Two times the same guy. Now you see the new and improved Andrew Cancio,” he said, as the near-sellout crowd at the Fantasy Springs approval wearing their “El Chango” t-shirts roared in approval.
A disappointed Machado said he could have continued. “The referee decided to stop the fight. I was willing to continue the fight. But he made the decision to stop the fight. I respect his decision.”
Machado had planned to move up to lightweight (135 pounds) before losing to Cancio, and stayed at super featherweight only for the rematch. “It was always my decision for this fight to be my last fight in the devision. It was my risk,” said Machado. After he recovers, Machado will be a worthy competitor in the lightweight division.
Cancio says it’s likely he will face his mandatory challenger Rene Alvarado. “He’s been sitting and waiting patiently … he’s been waiting long enough. Let me get my cuts healed up and see what my team wants,” said Cancio. A rematch with Joseph Diaz Jr. might also be looming. Hopefully I’ll get my show to avenge that loss,” said Cancio.
But first, Cancio will enjoy his favorite IPA craft beer, and then head back to work at his job maintaining natural gas lines for Southern California Gas on Monday. “Yes, I’ll be back at work on Monday,” said Cancio. Maybe the boss will give him the day off. With Andrew Cancio, some things never change.
And the new: Elwin Soto scorches Tito Acosta, scores 12th round TKO
Someone forgot to tell challenger Elwin Soto of Baja California, Mexico (15-1, 10 KOs) he was the underdog Friday in his fight WBO world light flyweight champion Angel Acosta of Puerto Rico (20-2, 20 KOs). With less than a minute left in the final round, it seemed Acosta would successfully make his fourth title defense against Soto after 12 wild rounds of exciting action.
Throughout the fight, “El Pulga” (The Flea) showed he is the type of fighter willing to eat a punch to deliver a punch. Soto moved right in on the champion and scored a second round knockdown with a hard right hook. Acosta was hurt but managed to recover and make Soto feel some pain in retaliation.
The pair traded shots back and forth for the remainder of the fight. Round by round, Acosta’s championship pedigree allowed him to gain ground, shifting the momentum of the fight in his favor. But Soto would not give up, and the winners were the fans entertained by some impressive action back and forth between the pair.
As the 12th round progressed it seemed the final bell would sound, and Acosta would likely win on the cards. With the final minute ticking, Acosta put on a burst of energy and pinned Soto in the corner. In a flash, Soto delivered a split second left hook counterpunch. It was the product of muscle memory, instinct, and desperation. Acosta, badly hurt, dropped his hands and was defenseless. Referee Thomas Taylor jumped and stopped the fight, and a new world champion was born.
How did the WBO light flyweight belt feel to Soto? “The truth is, it feels really nice. It’s been a dream to accomplish this. I worked really hard for this. I put a lot of effort into it.”
Soto admitted being as surprised by anyone at the outcome. “To be honest, I thought I was going to lose the fight. Thank God I landed that punch!”
Soto dedicated the win to his family and his corner, and congratulated Tito Acosta “because he is a great fighter.”
Acosta argued with referee Taylor, explaining later, “I told the referee he shouldn’t have stopped the fight. He hurt me, but I was coming back to get him. He shouldn’t have stopped the fight. Look, it was the last round and there wasn’t much left of the round, less than a minute.”
Acosta said his corner urged him to work the distance against Soto, “but but the truth is, he fought really well. I would have used my jab more like my corner was asking me and used the distance, just like in the gym.” Acosta said he’d love a rematch or a shot at another light flyweight titleholder. The fans vote for the rematch.
Feliciano scores seventh round TKO
Super lightweight Luis Feliciano of Milwaukee (12-0, 8 KOs) won in his fifth Fantasy Springs appearance, stopping Fernando Carcamo of Mexico (23-10, 18 KOs) in seven rounds. Feliciano successfully started a new knockout streak of two, going to Carcamo’s body with a barrage of punches causing his corner to ask for an end to the fight at 2:16 of the round.
“He’s a little slower. I started picking him apart. He has a weight advantage, so I knew he could take some shots,” said Feliciano, which is why he concentrated to the body. “He’s a very tough guy and heavy hitter, so I decided to be patient. I set up the late round KO, I had ten rounds with time to do it.”
Cobbs and Redmond Jr. deliver scorching action
In the DAZN opener, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs of Las Vegas (11-0-1, 7 KOs) won via sixth-round TKO over Robert Redmond, Jr, of Houston (7-2-2, 6 KOs). The fight delivered plenty of action, though it seemed it would end early when Cobbs scored a knockdown midway through the second round thanks to a snapping right hook to the head. Give Redmond Jr. credit for pressing on and trading serious punishment with Cobbs through the rest of the fight. Redmond Jr. had Cobbs in trouble several times, but Cobbs showed a good chin.
Redmond Jr. was hampered by a cut suffered under the right eye early in the fight, which grew worse as the fight wore on. The ring doctor kept allowing Redmond to continue, and he knew he wouldn’t get a pass forever. Redmond’s corner told him he had to score a knockout in the sixth round, but when he began taking more shots, the corner asked referee Thomas Taylor to stop the fight at 1:52 of the round.
“It was a wonderful experience being with you guys in the crowd and give it up to my opponent, he did a hell of a job. He’s a true warrior,” said Cobbs after the fight.
“After that knockdown, I could have just pushed it, I could have blasted him. But I decided to show a little more technique, show more experience and gain experience trying to break him down little by little.” Cobbs comes by his nickname naturally as he called out the welterweight division. “Every champion, I’m marking your days,” said the flashy Cobbs.
McKenna wins TKO behind solid body work
Fantasy Springs favorite Aaron McKenna of Los Angeles via Ireland 8-0, 5 KOs) employed solid body work to make quick work of opponent Daniel Perales of Mexico (10-18-2, 5 KOs) in his fifth Indio appearance. He swooped in on Perales who couldn’t seem to get out of the way. McKenna dropped Perales late in the first round, but needed 42 seconds of the second round to seal the deal when referee Ray Corona decided Perales had taken enough blows. McKenna’s fans didn’t mind getting to see him a bit longer.
“The plan was to be very aggressive and throw a lot of shots,” said McKenna. “I’ve learned so much about body shots and bringing it up to the head, I’d like to thank my coaches.” The six-foot-one welterweight says his role model isn’t Micky Ward, but Thomas “Hitman” Hearns. “I want to become a world champion. I want to be a world champion. I’m 19, so every fight is a step-up fight,” said McKenna.
Additional undercard results from Fantasy Springs
In other results, Emilio Rodriguez (3-1-1, 2 KOs) of Van Nuys, California, fought to a draw against Clay Collard (1-1-2) of Cache Valley, Utah. “He is a tough guy. I didn’t know too much about him. I knew he had an MMA background. I think I should have boxed him better, but he did his job by earning a draw. I take my hat off to him,” said Rodriguez.
Anthony Guernica had plenty of his Oakland fans ringside to cheer him on in his second pro fight, his second win and second stoppage over Evinch Dixon of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “Thanks to coaches Manny Robles and Edgar Jasso. If it weren’t for then, I wouldn’t be here. I’m coming off the amateurs. There’s good vibes at the gym [Legendz, where Andy Ruiz Jr. also trains]. Nowadays everyone wants to take coach away to interview him when I’m working with him!” laughed Guernica.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.