In front of a sold-out crowd at Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino on Saturday night, Andrew Cancio rebounded from a first-round knockdown to upset Alberto Machado to win the WBA Super Featherweight Title in a thrilling performance.
In a co-main event that saw both men hit the canvas, Rey Vargas defeated Franklin Manzanilla to retain the WBC Super Bantamweight Title. Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. moved up to 130 pounds and defeated his friend Charles Huerta by unanimous decision, and the new WBC Continental Americas Lightweight World Titlist Adrian Estrella outlasted Oscar Duarte in a 10-round battle.
“This was fight of my life. I feel extremely great winning this world title by knockout. I did not let this fight go to the judge’s scorecards. It’s been a long road and it felt like we thought it would: unbelievable. For me to execute a plan like we did feels great. He caught me early, but it was a flash knockdown. I got my legs back and got my composure. I was never out the fight. I’m extremely happy.”
On what he had to do to win: “Go back to gym, and I know I had a lot to prove. I know people doubted me and gave me no chance. I knocked him out. So hopefully all you critics who didn’t think I have a chance, and it would be an easy win for Machado. Now you got a world-class fighter and I’m here baby.”
On the game plan: “Body, body, body, and upper cuts. After he dropped me, I relaxed and stuck with the game plan. He was standing up so I started attacking the body. I hit hard and I started to dig, dig and dig.”
“I felt weak in there. The rematch would be nice, but I think I have to move up from 130 pounds. We will see.”
On the animosity and what you told him: “I never talked smack, but we’re going to fight clean. We’re not going to fight dirty, like he did.”
On who he wants next: “I want to unify all the belts. I have this WBC, but I want all the belts.”
Against who? “Danny Roman and anyone else who wants to fight.”
“I feel good but he fought too dirty. I like to fight clean, not dirty like he did. It was a complicated and he’s tough. But I adjusted to his style and that’s how I won. I wished he would have fought cleaner, but I did what I could.”
Joseph Diaz Jr.
On his performance: “I did really good. I moved up in weight and showcased in this new 130-pound division. I was able to look good and push back a big super featherweight in Huerta. I had him hurt a few times, but I couldn’t finish him because he’s such a great warrior. At the end of the day, I had to do my job and that’s what I did.”
Fighting again at 126: “If big names at 126 like Leo Santa Cruz, Xu Can, or Oscar Valdez call me out then I’ll go down to 126 and fight. If none of those fights are going to be presented then I’d rather stay at 130.”
On feeling comfortable fighting at 130: “Oh absolutely I know Gervonta Davis is fighting on the other network tonight, I’d love to challenge him. I’d love to challenge Miguel Berchelt. I’d love to challenge all the guys at 130, even Tevin Farmer.”
“It was the right decision. Besides the first round, I took the pedal off the gas. I waited too much. He countered me well, and I let him dictate the pace. I had a 17-month layoff, and I feel I did well. I hope I come back for another opportunity soon.”
“This is something I’ve worked hard to get for many years. Working my distance was key in this fight. It’s hard to knock out Oscar Duarte and he was getting stronger in every round. So, I decided to jab and work the distance. I got a split decision, but that’s okay. As long as I get the win, that’s fine with me.”
“I don’t think the decision was right. I thought it was a draw. I was pressuring the whole time. I feel I need to learn a lot more.”
12-round WBA Super Featherweight Title Bout @ 130 lbs.
Alberto Machado vs. Andrew Cancio
Andrew Cancio (20-4-2, 15 KOs) defeats Alberto Machado (21-1, 17 KOs) by TKO at 2:16 in Round 4
12-round WBC Super Bantamweight Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Rey Vargas vs. Franklin Manzanilla
Rey Vargas (33-0, 22 KOs) defeats Franklin Manzanilla (20-6, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision
(117-108, 117-108, 117-108)
10-round Super Featherweight Bout @ 130 lbs.
Joseph Diaz Jr. Charles Huerta
Joseph Diaz Jr. (28-1, 14 KOs) defeats Charles Huerta (20-6, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision
(99-91, 99-91, 99-91)
10-round Vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Title Bout @ 135 lbs.
Oscar Duarte vs. Adrian Estrella
Adrian Estrella (29-3, 24 KOs) defeats Oscar Duarte (15-1-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision
(97-93, 98-92, 96-94)