Last year, Andrew Cancio decided to end a two-year retirement to give boxing one last try. A jack-hammer worker by trade, he spends his evenings training and reeled off two victories in 2018 to earn last night’s title shot against undefeated Albert Machado. Cancio came in as a 15-1 underdog and is scheduled to be at work Monday morning at 8 a.m.
Cancio will now be going into the job as a world champion. The former journeyman shocked the boxing world by shaking off a first-round knockdown to dominate Machado and earn a career-defining fourth-round stoppage.
Machado jumped out to an early lead by dropping Cancio with a three-punch combination punctuated by a left uppercut. Machado remained sharp until Cancio buzzed him with a right cross. The fight then turned on a dime with an emboldened Cancio beginning to come forward and work combinations.
By the second round, Cancio was crowding Machado and taking steam off the taller champion’s punches. Cancio executed varied combinations that kept Machado confused and defensive. The challenger at one point launched a left uppercut-straight right-left hook combo, then followed up seconds later with a left hook-right cross-left uppercut salvo. Despite the fierce fighting, Cancio remained defensively sound by keeping a low crouch and parrying Machado’s counters.
Machado was hurt by a lead left hook early in the third. Cancio maintained control of the stanza by utilizing a “catch n shoot” approach. Cancio would return every parried Machado shot with a 2-3 punch combination.
By the fourth, the champion was completely spent. A right hand to the solar plexus scored the first knockdown. Cancio concentrated on the body to score two more and forced the referee stoppage at the 2:16 mark.