The first major hurdle 🇺🇸Andrew Cancio had to clear to keep his career going in 2019 was stepping into the ring at the Fantasy Springs Casino in February and pulling the upset over WBA Super Featherweight Champion Alberto Machado.
That mission was accomplished as Cancio delivered a body shot that took Machado down for good in the fourth round, and like that, the man that had hung his gloves up for almost two years following his 2016 loss to Joseph Diaz Jr. left the ring as the WBA champion.
Celebration followed the win and Cancio was honored and presented with his championship belt in front of his hometown of Blythe, California, but life itself didn’t change much.
A week later it was back to the same routine that had gotten him here. It was back to waking up and doing road work at 5 a.m.. It was back to strapping up his work boots and manning the jackhammer that has developed his Popeye like forearms for SoCal Gas Company. It was back to clocking out from a long, hard day on the job, not to head home, but to put in actual ring work at the gym.
Nothing changed because there was still another hurdle to clear. Proving that the win wasn’t just a fluke. Proving the win didn’t just come as a result of a lack of preparation, and a tough weight cut from Machado which is what some attributed his stunning victory to.
Heading into the ring this past Friday night both fighters assured the fans and media that they felt 100% ready to go. Cancio was ready to defend his title for the first time and Machado was ready to reclaim his belt and show he was the better man that just had an off night.
Cancio got to the point fairly quick in the second meeting. He broke through Machado’s gameplan of keeping the fight at a distance and worked inside to once again deliver a body shot that Machado would not overcome.
With his rivalry with Machado settled, a mandatory with veteran Rene Alvarado awaits next and should he win that matchup, he could be seeking redemption once again, this time in a rematch against Joseph Diaz.
Whatever lays ahead for Cancio in the ring, the question has to become how long until the days working the jackhammer come to an end. Can the day to day workload he shouldered on his way back to contention and ultimately winning the belt continue as faces more of the best guys in the division?
His work ethic and determination to do it will never come into question, but hopefully he has finally reached the point where he can put 100% of his focus and efforts to go into defending and seeking more hardware.