By: Sean Crose
One of the interesting side effects of huge upsets in boxing is that fans are left to wonder if it was all just a fluke. Sometimes they arguably find out– as they did when Lennox Lewis regained his heavyweight title against Hasim Rahman almost twenty years ago. Sometimes, however, it all remains a mystery (we can guess, but can only imagine what would have happened if there was a Tyson-Douglas II). On Friday night, subscribers to DAZN will see for themselves whether Andrew Cancio’s stunning knockout of Alberto Machado last winter was indicative of a simple bad night for Machado – or of something more telling.
The first fight between the two men last February looked like it would go according to plan, as the then 20-0 Machado dropped the 19-4 Cancio hard in the first round. Cancio, however, got to his feet, and then proceeded to fight on, to the point where he viciously attacked the Regular WBA Junior Welterweight titlist Machado’s torso. Machado ended up going down on three occasions, and the referee stopped the bout in the fourth round. It might have been upset of the year material – had a certain Andy Ruiz not come around to face Anthony Joshua in New York a few weeks back. Now, however, Machado is looking for redemption.
On the other hand, Cancio is looking to show the world that he’s exactly where he belongs in the divisional pecking order. An electric company employee in California, Cancio certainly doesn’t engage in the flashiness contemporaries like Tyson Fury, and Adrien Broner do. As Cancio told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports: “I’m 100 percent committed to boxing, it’s just that I don’t get to stay at home and rest all day.” A family man first and foremost, Cancio is a man whose responsibilities keep him grounded.
It’s that underdog quality, however, that leads to Cancio’s appeal. Should he win again Friday, after the opening bell rings at the Fantasy Springs Casino in California, the fighter can expect that appeal to become more widespread. In order to reap greater attention (and, subsequently, more money), though, Cancio will have to get through a Machado who clearly isn’t intending to have a repeat of the first fight. It’s been reported the native of Puerto Rico had trouble in the lead up to his first battle with Cancio. If that’s true, and this camp has been smoother, Machado might prove to be a more formidable foe than he was during the first throw down.