Cancio Looking to Prove Title Victory Over Machado was No Fluke

In a rematch from their fight earlier this year, WBA super featherweight champion Andrew Cancio will defend the title against former champ Alberto Machado in California.

Updated: June 19, 2019 • 5:41 PM ET

Indio, Calif. will host Friday's WBA super featherweight title fight.

In an immediate rematch from their first fight in February, WBA super featherweight champion Andrew Cancio will defend the title against Alberto Machado this Friday at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. The co-main event will also be for a title, as WBO junior flyweight champion Angel Acosta will defend the belt against Elwin Soto.

In one of the biggest upsets of 2019 and to the surprise of many experts and analysts, Cancio defeated Machado by fourth-round knockout in their first fight to win the title. Entering the bout, Machado was undefeated and had stopped all but four of his 21 professional opponents.

With the win over Machado, Cancio (20-4-2, 15 KOs) has put together a three-fight winning streak since losing to Joseph Diaz by TKO in 2016. He’ll fight as a major champion for the first time on Friday and is confident heading into the second fight with Machado.

“I don’t think it’s going to last as long,” Cancio recently said via FanSided. “I’m still digging to the body harder than ever. I’m feeling more comfortable with my combinations, and this is back-to-back camps with southpaws.

“I more confident. I know what I have to do to take him out.”

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Cancio’s story has been inspirational to many, as he not only fights professionally but also works daily at the Southern California Gas Company from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Being a champion hasn’t changed his work ethic, though, as he’s no stranger to overtime at his other job.

“But I still go to work,” Cancio said. “I’m on my way back home from work on my way to the gym. It’s changed as far as I’m a world champion, but I’m still the same old Andrew Cancio. I still stay humble. I still go to work. I still train. I still get up and run before my shift. I think people are just starting to recognize me.”

The 30-year-old has a desire to keep the Cinderella story going and enjoy all that being a champion will bring him.

“I have to work up to million dollar paydays, hopefully,” Cancio said. “It’s expensive in Ventura County. On top of that, you never know when this will be all over.

“I would love to buy a house out here and continue training. Right now, it’s working for me.”

Machado attempted to explain what went wrong in the first fight.

"I didn't talk too much about this because I want to give all the credit to Cancio -- he made it work, he won the fight," Cancio recently told ESPN. "But now you question me [about it], I had a situation with my family, I have a baby, 1-year-old, he had surgery."

Machado continued, "So I had to attend to my wife. The process of recuperation for a child is very difficult. It was difficult to come here and I came here in [a] condition that I was not used to."

Machado also attributed the loss to Cancio to a rough weight cut, saying he had 17 pounds to lose two weeks before the fight, 11 pounds to lose a week out and six pounds the day before the fight.

"It's hard for me, but I take all the responsibility,” Machado said.

Cancio took exception to Machado’s explanation.

"They use the weight excuse as the reason why he got beat up,” Cancio said. “He went up against a guy that can get hit, got knocked down, got back up, and fought even harder. I told people he's never been in the ring with a fighter like me.

"We didn't hear no excuses until after he lost."

Before losing the title to Cancio, Machado (21-1, 17 KOs) won the vacant belt with a knockout victory over Jezzrel Corrales in October 2017. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican fighter successfully defended the title twice before running into Cancio with victories over Rafael Mensah (unanimous decision) and Yuandale Evans (knockout).

The highly anticipated rematch will have huge implications on the current state of the division.


Co-main event

Friday’s co-main event will be for the WBO junior flyweight title, as champion Angel Acosta will defend the belt against Elwin Soto.

Fighting in the Fantasy Springs Casino for the second straight time, Acosta (20-1, 20 KOs) will ride a four-fight winning streak into the bout with Soto after losing to Kosei Tanaka for the title in 2017. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican fighter won the vacant title in his next fight against Juan Alejo and has defended the belt three times with finishes in each fight.

Since suffering the first loss of his career to Danny Andujo in 2017, the 22-year-old Soto has won 12 straight fights against opposition who came in with a combined 51-64-9 record. While the competition has looked less than average, Soto has been a busy fighter and is being rewarded with his first shot at a major title. He is 14-1 with 10 knockouts, and this will only be his second fight outside of his native Mexico.

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