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Andrew Cancio Rips WBA Title From Machado by KO and Other Results

David A. Avila

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Cancio

INDIO, Calif.-Underdog Andrew Cancio ripped away the WBA super featherweight world title from Puerto Rico’s Alberto Machado with a murderous body attack and became the first and only world champion from the small desert town of Blythe, California on Saturday.

More than 100 loud screaming fans from Blythe were present to witness the event.

Cancio (20-4-2, 15 KOs) survived a first round knockdown against Machado (21-1, 17 KOs) then showed why fans follow him whenever he fights with a furious rally in front of a near sold-out crowd at Fantasy Springs Casino. Pure delirium followed the change of world title ownership.

As soon as the two combatants stepped in the boxing ring Machado looked much larger against the smaller frame of Cancio. And when the Puerto Rican southpaw slugger connected with a left uppercut in the first round, he seemed too powerful even for Cancio.

“I had been there before. I know what to do when I get knocked down,” said Cancio, who now lives in Ventura but has family still in Blythe. “I was even able to score some punches. I didn’t cover up or hold.”

Cancio had shown a penchant for surviving slugfests against Rocky Juarez, Dardan (Zenunaj) and Rene Alvarado and for digging deep. Once again he displayed that same determination.

The father of two, who works for a utility company, stepped on the gas in the second round and never took his foot off the pedal with a grinding attack to the head and body of Machado. The Puerto Rican fighter had no idea how to defend the blistering blows coming his way.

Machado tried to stymie Cancio’s momentum but just when it looked like the storm was over, the California desert fighter would batter the body relentless from one side to the other. The screams from the crowd seemed to add more fuel to Cancio’s fire in the third round.

The loud cheers penetrated the arena. It seemed like all 19,000 residents of the desert town near the Colorado River were present.

“They really motivate me,” Cancio said who was fighting for the 10th time at the Indio casino.

Cancio moved in for another attack somewhat cautiously in the fourth round. Then the murderous machine-like attack to the body began penetrating through Machado’s defense and the Puerto Rican dropped to a single knee and took an eight-count. The fight continued and Cancio was like a hungry wolf chasing injured prey. Machado tried to fend off the attack but again blows to the body sent him down again. He beat the count and rose with Cancio charging in again with arms pumping and connected again. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. waved the fight over at 2:16 of the fourth round. The desert town of Blythe had its first world champion.

“This was the fight of my life. I feel extremely great winning this world title by knockout,” said Cancio. “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.”

Machado said the weight loss may have contributed to his poor showing.

“I felt weak in there,” Machado said. “I think I have to move up from 130 pounds.”

Still, it was a great moment for Cancio who almost retired more than a year ago.

“I’m extremely happy,” he said. “I wasn’t going to fail.”

WBC Super Bantam Title Fight

WBC super bantamweight world titlist Rey Vargas (33-0, 22 KOs) hung on to the title literally with an unpopular hit and hold formula against Venezuela’s rugged Franklin Manzanilla (18-5, 17 KOs), especially after tasting the canvas.

Manzanilla caught Vargas with a left hook to the chin in the second round after a brief exchange and after that, the tall skinny Mexican fighter grabbed hold of the Venezuelan whenever he got within grasping distance.

Vargas was never penalized for the excessive holding but Manzanilla was not so lucky with his tactics of trying to break the constrictor like grip of the champion. Manzanilla was deducted points in the seventh round for supposedly hitting on the break and again in the eighth. Meanwhile Vargas continued to hold throughout the fight with impunity. After 12 rounds all three judges saw it 117-108 for Vargas who retains the world title. The crowd was not pleased with the decision or the champion’s tactics.

South El Monte’s Jojo Diaz (28-1, 14 KOs) moved up in weight to the super featherweight division and found it advantageous in defeating local rival Charles Huerta (20-6, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.

“This will be my weight unless some of the bigger names like Leo Santa Cruz or Oscar Valdez want to fight me,” said Diaz a former two-time challenger for the featherweight world title. “Then I’ll fight at 126.”

Huerta couldn’t match Diaz’s speed but hung in against the speedy southpaw for all 10 rounds.

“I had him hurt a few times, but I couldn’t finish him because he’s such a great warrior,” Diaz said.

Other Bouts

A battle between Mexican lightweights saw Nuevo Leon’s Adrian Estrella (29-3, 24 KOs) use a lot of movement to befuddle Parral’s Oscar Duarte (15-1-1, 10 KOs) and win the vacant WBC Continental America’s title by a disputed split decision.

Duarte must have been surprised to see Estrella box and move despite sporting an impressive knockout record. It took Duarte, who trains in Indio with Joel Diaz, several rounds to move within punching distance. He never figured out how to cut off the ring against Estrella who benefited from the lapse. After 10 rounds one judge saw Duarte the winner by 97-93, but two others saw it 98-92 and 96-94 for Estrella. The crowd was not pleased.

Former contender Tureano Johnson (20-2-1, 14 KOs) found a difficult opponent in Mexico’s Fernando Castaneda (26-13-1, 17 KOs) who despite a so-so record was coming to win. Both found success throughout the super middleweight fight. Johnson was dominant with right uppercuts and Castaneda found success early with overhand rights and left hooks. Neither was seriously hurt but after eight rounds the fight was ruled a split draw 77-75, 75-77, 76-76 when the scores were read.

“My opponent did an awesome job,” said Johnson after the entertaining back and forth fight.

Castaneda felt he had won but was more than happy that the crowd appreciated his effort.

“I’m very happy to have the crowd support me,” said Castaneda of Aguascalientes, Mexico. “I want a rematch.”

Azat Hovhannisyan (16-3, 13 KOs) utilized body shots to stop Lolito Sonsona (22-3-4, 9 KOs) in the fifth round of their super bantamweight match. Early in the fight, Hovhannisyan dropped the Filipino fighter with a left to the body but was deducted a point for an alleged low blow. It was a borderline punch but signified to the Armenian fighter to continue targeting the abdomen.

Hovhannisyan continued the pressure and though he battered Sonsona to the head repeatedly, nothing seemed to faze the Filipino fighter. But when he drifted to the body that’s where the fierce Armenian fighter found a weakness, Rights to the left side of Sonsona’s body floored the Filipino twice in the fifth round. At 2:23 Sonsona did not beat the count of 10 after the second body shot put him down on the ground. Referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight.

Local fighter Rommel Caballero (5-0, 4 KOs) knocked out Javier Rojas (1-3) in the first round of their super featherweight fight.

The fights can be seen on DAZN.

Photo credit: Alonzo Coston

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Fast Results From Latvia: Mairis Briedis and the KO Doctor advance in the WBSS

Arne K. Lang

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briedis vs glowacki

The semifinal round of the Wold Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament played out today in Riga, Latvia, the hometown of Mairis Briedis who was matched against Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki. Both fighters had only one blemish on their ledger and in both cases their lone defeat came at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk.

The fans left happily after Briedis (26-1, 19 KOs) knocked out Glowacki (34-2) in the third frame. But it was messy fight that invites a lot of second-guessing and likely a challenge from the Glowacki camp.

After a feeling-out first round, Briedis cranked up the juice. An errant elbow landed behind Glowacki’s head, putting him on the canvas. For this discretion, Briedis was docked a point. A legitimate knockdown followed — Glowacki was hurt — and then another knockdown after the bell had sounded. The referee could not hear the bell in the din. It was a wild scene.

The fight was allowed to continue, but didn’t last much longer. Coming out for round three, Glowacki wasn’t right and Briedis pounced on him, scoring another knockdown, leading referee Robert Byrd to waive the fight off at the 27 second mark. It wasn’t Byrd’s finest hour.

The tournament organizers anticipated the complication of a draw and assigned extra judges to eliminate this possibility. They did not anticipate the complication of a “no-contest.” If the outcome isn’t overturned, Briedis, a former WBC cruiserweight champ, is the new WBO title-holder.

Dorticos-Tabiti

In the co-feature, Miami-based Cuban defector Yunier Dorticos, nicknamed the KO Doctor, lived up to his nickname with a smashing one punch knockout of previously undefeated Andrew Tabiti. The end for Tabiti came with no warning in round 10. An overhand right left him flat on his back, unconscious. Referee Eddie Claudio didn’t bother to count. The official time was 2:33.

It was easy to build case for Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs). He was three inches taller than Tabiti, packed a harder punch, and had fought stronger opposition. But it was understood that Tabiti, now 17-1, had a more well-rounded game. Moreover, there were concerns about Dorticos’ defense and stamina.

Dorticos was ahead on the scorecards after nine frames. He rarely took a backward step and let his hands go more freely. And it didn’t help Tabiti’s cause that he was docked a point for holding in the sixth frame. Earlier in that round, an accidental clash of heads left Dorticos with a cut over his right eye. The ringside physician was called into the ring to examine it and let the bout continue.

With the victory, Dorticos became the IBF world cruiserweight champion and moved one step closer to acquiring the coveted Muhammad Ali trophy in what will be, win or lose, the most lucrative fight of his career.

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Angel Ruiz Scores 93 Second KO in Ontario, CA

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Angel Ruiz

(Ringside Report by Special Correspondent Tarrah Zeal) ONTARIO, CA – “Path to Glory” featured some of Southern California’s hottest prospects carving their image into the boxing world through the Thompson Boxing Promotions platform at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA Friday night.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Angel Ruiz (14-0, 11 KO) of Maywood, CA finished veteran Miguel Zamudio (43-13-1, 27 KO) from Los Mochis, Mexico with an impressive stoppage at 1:33 in the first round scheduled for eight.

At 21 years young, Ruiz (pictured) came into the night with four KO wins in his last four bouts and looking to continue his streak. A second-round body shot win over Gerald Avila (8-17-3) on May 10th and first round KO win against Roberto Almazan (8-9) just this year.

Ruiz was just getting started in the ring using his long distance and power punches to punish Zamudio.

Twenty seconds into the opening round, Ruiz’ mouthpiece went flying out and a timeout was called. Once the mouthpiece was placed back in, Ruiz administered a quick flurry of punches but with no exchange from Zamudio, referee Raul Caiz stepped in and stopped the main event fight.

After the fight interview Ruiz was asked about what he saw in the fight, “I see this guy. He wants to fight. He was trying to fight but I’m too hard. I got you.” Ruiz said. “I feel ready. I want to fight with the best.”

With 89 amateur bouts under his belt, although not signed with any promoters, Ruiz is verbally challenging Vergil Ortiz, “Vergil if you see this video, remember me”.

Brewart

In he co-main event, a six round junior middleweight bout, Richard “Cool Breeze” Brewart (6-0, 2 KO) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA won a unanimous decision over Antonio “El Tigre” Duarte (2-1) of Tijuana, Mexico.

Brewart was coming into the fight looking like the faster, more technical fighter of the two. Duarte over-telegraphed all of his punches, allowing Brewart to use his overhand right and awesome agility to angle out of reach.

Even after Duarte checked Brewart on the chin with a strong punch, Brewart’s power punches always ended the rounds. The judges scored the bout 60-54 twice and 59-55 for Brewart.

Other Bouts

A victorious unanimous decision at the end of a six-round toe-to- toe bantamweight fight was given to Mario “Mighty” Hernandez, (8-1-1, 3 KO) of Santa Cruz, CA over lefty Victor “Lobo” Trejo Garcia (16-11-1, 8 KO) from Mexico City, Mexico.

Continuous hard punches were exchanged from both brawlers starting at the bell of round one. Fans were excited after a flurry of punches and then a clear push from Hernandez sent Trejo to the floor at the end of round three, giving the crowd excitement for the coming rounds.

It deemed to be a bit of a challenge for both, as orthodox Hernandez managed to match southpaw Trejo’s overhand right punches with his own in response. After six rounds of continuous action two judges scored the bout 57-56 and one 59-54 for Hernandez.

In what would be an exciting and entertaining four-round heavyweight bout, Oscar Torrez (6-0, 3 KO) from Riverside, CA took on Allen Ruiz (0-2) of Ensenada, Mexico.

A surprising uppercut from Ruiz, in the beginning of round one, put Torrez on the canvas and every eye in the room were all fixated on both brawlers. The look in Torrez’ eyes were more calculated, as he was careful from then on.

Wild punches were being thrown from Ruiz without fear of repercussion, but then a quick liver shot from Torrez sent him to his knees. After a couple of seconds to adjust back into the bout, Ruiz was then checked again by left hook to the chin knocking out his mouthpiece. There were 20 seconds left in round two and the round ended with no mouthpiece.

Torrez showed he was stronger and the more technical fighter and finally ended the bout by KO with a right hook to Ruiz’s body at 1:08 in the third round.

Jose “Tito” Sanchez, a rising featherweight prospect with two knockouts in his first two fights and training under star trainer Joel Diaz, out of Indio, CA, took on veteran Pedro “Pedroito” Melo (17-20-2, 8 KO). Even with his low experience in the professional boxing world, Sanchez showed his maturity in the ring by controlling the fight when following Melo around the ring and landing clean left hooks and powerful body shots. After four rounds Sanchez won by 40-36 on all three cards.

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Is the UFC Purchasing Premier Boxing Champions?

Miguel Iturrate

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UFC Purchasing PBC?

Several news outlets are reporting that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company Endeavor is in talks with Al Haymon to purchase the Premier Boxing Champions. The deal is far from happening and will be complicated if it is completed. Let’s look at some of the details.

Dana White has been the face of the UFC since the brand was purchased by Zuffa in 2001 and over the years he has repeatedly hinted about invading the world of boxing. In his early days as the UFC’s head honcho, White even challenged his biggest star, Tito Ortiz, to a boxing match. The match never happened but to this day White will tell you he would have beaten Ortiz in a fight under Queensberry rules.

In more recent years the UFC co-promoted the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather Jr match and White, although he would vehemently deny it, also had to have at least tacitly approved of Oscar De LaHoya’s promotion of the third bout between Ortiz and his rival Chuck Liddell. That match-up was likely assessed by White this way: “If Oscar wants to promote MMA let him lose his money,” but he didn’t stand in the way of De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions.

White’s name has also come up in connection with Anthony Joshua. White is said to have had a huge offer ready for the then heavyweight champion, but he backed off when the realization hit that he could not make matches for Joshua in the way he is accustomed because he had no roster of potential opponents. However, White has been insistent that the UFC will “100 percent get into boxing.”

Under new owners Endeavor, White cannot operate like he did under old owners Zuffa, but if the deal goes down it is likely because White crafted some type of long term vision that he sold to Endeavor co-founder and CEO Ari Emanuel (pictured).

When Endeavor purchased the UFC in July of 2016 for a reported $4.05 billion, White agreed to guide the company for at least five more years, of which roughly two are up.

On the flipside, it is difficult to see Al Haymon relinquishing control of PBC. More than likely Haymon would stay in charge of the PBC wing and Endeavor would serve as a cash cow to keep what he has built going.

Haymon must stay aboard for another reason, though few will say it. The reason is ethnicity. If Haymon is left out, that would basically leave Leonard Ellerbe and his boss Floyd Mayweather Jr as the only prominent African-American promoters in boxing and that would not be a healthy situation.

Premier Boxing Champions has a diverse group of fighters among the over 200 pugilists under contract. Some are African-American as are many of Haymon’s key employees and associates. Frankly, at least a portion of those fighters and employees would not feel the same comfort level they have with Haymon if Emanuel, a member of an influential Jewish family (his brother is former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel) and Vegas power broker White were abruptly substituted.

Another effect on the PBC model is on the promotional end. Haymon has cobbled together a group of promoters that operate regionally under his PBC umbrella. The model that Endeavor brings with the UFC will have a more centralized approach to promotion. How will the new owners deal with Lou DiBella in NY, James Leija and Mike Battah in Texas, and Tom Brown in California? Throw in the aforementioned Ellerbe and Mayweather, who operate primarily in Vegas but also in the Washington DC and Baltimore area. How will the promoters who work with the PBC see their relationship change if Haymon left and Dana White was in charge?

Haymon has built the PBC over the years into a big business. He has the PBC on FOX and Showtime whereas the UFC, which previously partnered with FOX, now has a long-term deal with ESPN. This suggests that if a deal is made, PBC and the UFC will have to operate as completely separate entities under the same umbrella, at least for the foreseeable future. And even that might be further away from happening than most people realize.

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