By Francisco Salazar
INDIO – Andrew Cancio, a 15-1 underdog, was not supposed to win Saturday night.
He was supposed to show up and give a solid effort in losing to Alberto Machado, one of the top fighters at 130 pounds.
Someone forgot to give Cancio that script.
Cancio recovered from an opening-round knockdown to stop Machado in round four before a loud, partisan crowd at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
With the win, Cancio wins the WBA ‘secondary’ junior lightweight title.
Cancio had won his previous two fights since his knockout loss to Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz in September of 2016. He moved up in weight and fought twice in 2018, notching victories over Aidar Sharibayev and Dardan Zenunaj.
Nothing would have prepared him for Machado, but Cancio was dead set on upsetting Machado.
“If I didn’t think I could win, I wouldn’t have taken the fight,” Cancio told Boxingscene.com earlier in the week.
Machado was coming off a knockout win over Yuandale Evans on Oct. 27.
Machado dropped Cancio with a left uppercut to the head early on in round one. Cancio, who grew up in nearby Blythe and now resides in Oxnard, California, came on in rounds two and three, closing the distance and connecting with several combinations.
Cancio hit pay-dirt in round four, dropping Machado with a straight shot to the body. Machado stood up, but was dropped again by another punch to the body.
Moments later, Cancio dropped Machado again with a barrage of punches, forcing referee Raul Caiz, Jr. to stop the bout at 2:16.
Cancio improves to 20-4-2, 15 KOs, while Machado falls to 21-1, 17 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing