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  Alvarado Exacts Revenge Over Cancio;
Xu Defeats Robles To Retain Title

By Albert Castillo
Photos: William Trillo


Saturday night at Fantasy Springs Casino Resort and Spa in Indio, CA. Golden Boy Productions produced a solid six fight boxing card. In the main event of the evening it was sweet revenge for Nicaraguan Rene Alvarado (32-8, 21 KO’s), as he stripped the WBA Super Featherweight title from the man they call Chango, Blythe’s own Andrew Cancio (21-5-2, 16 KO’s). Previously Cancio had knocked out Alvarado in a non- title fight before Cancio had become champion.

Tonight, the devil got a hold of Alvarado as he fought like a man possessed. He was all over Cancio with multiple combinations that never stopped for the first four rounds. In the third round Cancio was cut over his left eye from an Alvarado right hand. In the fifth round Cancio made a gallant effort throwing punches with bad intentions looking for a knockout.

Alvarado took the best of what Cancio had to give and returned to throwing combinations focusing his punches on Cancio’s left eye. At the end of the sixth-round referee Raul Caiz stopped the contest as Cancio sat on his stool. Alvarado cried tears of joy and returns to his hometown the newly crowned WBA Super Featherweight Champion.

Alvarado commented after the fight, “It’s a feeling very hard to describe. It’s something I’ve wanted ever since I started my career, and now Nicaragua has another world champion, twin brothers.” “We were looking for new opportunities, not necessarily to avenge a loss, but opportunities to become a world champion. And that’s what we did. Cancio’s going to come back from this but we fought our hearts out and it was a tough fight.” “It was a plan to start dominating from the very beginning of the fight. That was the plan, by Sergio Gonzalez my trainer and my corner including my brother, who’s also a world champion with me now.” “My objective was to make sure that I become a world champion on this important day, the 23rd of November, when 45 years ago, Alexis Argüello became a world champion for the first time [and Nicaragua’s first world champion]. And now for the first time, we have two world champions who are twin brothers from Nicaragua. That was the objective.”

Cancio on the fight, “I have no idea. We felt great throughout camp, and like you said, I just couldn’t get off. Rene fought a hell of a fight tonight. I was two steps behind him. There’s nothing I can say. He fought his fight tonight and he got his revenge in the rematch. Congratulations to him. He did exactly what I did, he had to come from behind to come over here and become a world champion. He fought a hell of a fight and there’s nothing I can say besides congratulate him and enjoy this; I know how it feels. Now we just have to go back to the drawing board, and I have to talk it over with my team. Tonight wasn’t my night but it is what it is. I have to take this loss as a champion and just go back home and regroup and see what we have to do.” “I kept trying, but tonight was his night, he got off very well. I got hit with too many shots. I had a great camp, there’s no excuses about it, and the better man won tonight. It’s well-deserved, he fought a tremendous fight. I’ve been here before. It is what it is. It’s part of the game.”

With the crowd chanting “Mexico, Mexico” and shouts of “Work Manny Work” Los Angeles native and formerly undefeated Manny Robles III (18-1, 8 KO’s) fought valiantly but was unable to wrest the WBA Featherweight Title from China’s Xu Can in a nonstop free for all featuring rapid right, left, rights, from both fighters. The pugilists fought in close quarters all night stepping back momentarily to unleash combination after combination. In this brutal contest it was difficult to pick out a clear-cut winner. The verbal battle in the stands was indicative of the intensity of this fight.

Xu Can’s Chinese contingency, banners and flags waving encouraging their fighter opposite the hometown largely Latino crowd who stomped their feet and cheered loudly. In the end Judges scored it all for Xu Can, 118-110, 120-108, and 119-109 respectively. The fight was much closer than the scores indicate. Robles tagged Can time again and with more power. Can may have thrown more punches but it was Robles who threw and connected with the harder shots. Back to the drawing board for Robles and Xu Can back to China with title in hand.

Following comments from Xu Can postfight to Josh Harrington.“We trained very hard in the camp, three months for the fight. We wanted to show everybody in the world. Who do you want next? “Josh [Harrington]! You coming out? Now I’m here. You see I’m here, right? Let’s fight. Let’s unify.” Where would you want the fight? “Anywhere. I can fight anywhere. I promise I will bring the belt back home to China.”

Boston’s Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (22-0, 14KO’s) captured the vacant WBA Continental Americas Welterweight Title by outpointing a tentative Eddie Gomez (23-4, 13 KO’s) out of the Bronx, New York. Rashidi was aggressive and strong with staccato like combinations. Gomez tried but became frustrated missing many punches. Gomez just couldn't get his punches off in order to make it a fight.

In the 5th round Gomez tried to headbutt Ellis and referee Corona warned Gomez. Ellis kept it professional and did not retaliate. Instead he continued to stick, move, and connect. One judge saw it all for Ellis 100-90 while the other two gave Gomez one round 99-91.

Demonstrating speed and accuracy, a sharp, focused and energized Victor Morales (13-0, 7 KO’s) of Vancouver, Washington battled tough veteran opponent Diuhl Olguin (14-13-3, 9 KO’s). Olguin is the consummate journeyman opponent. Although he has lost six of his last eight fights, he comes ready for war. He is always in shape and surprises many of his opponents with his toughness.

Tonight he surprised Morales by connecting with hard shots that stunned Morales. In the fourth round he opened a cut over Morales’ left eye with a stiff right hand. Although all judges had Morales pitching a shutout – 80-72, the sixth and eighth round could have easily went to Olguin.

Sporting a bright red mohawk Super Banty Alberto Melian (6-1, 4 KO’s) was just too much for Juan Kantun 21-9-3 (15 KO’s) of Phoenix Arizona. Melian seemed to tower over his opponent and pursued him like a bully in a school-yard fight. In the second round Melian dropped Kantun in the corner with a left hook followed with a barrage of rights.

Kantun got up but should have stayed down. Melian immediately pursued him, pushing him into the corner and connecting again with a multitude of left and right shots to the head and body. The referee had seen enough and stepped in to stop the fight near the end of the second round.

“There was a moment I didn’t feel his punches and I felt strong,” said Alberto Melian.“That’s when I knew I had to step it up. I would like to face Joshua Franco and any other regional title holder, but I’ll leave that to Roberto Diaz and my promoter.

In the opening bout of the evening China’s Baishanbo “The Destroyer” Nasiyiwula (16-3-1, 6 KO’s) outlasted Mexican journeyman Saul Corral (31-15, 20 KO’s) in this eight round welterweight match up. Nasiyula had the upper hand as he consistently landed his right over the left jab of Corral. Corral occasionally retaliated with an overhand right of his own.

In the seventh and eighth rounds the fight livened with some good exchanges. Although several punches landed flush by both fighters neither was worse for the wear. All judges were in favor of Nasiyiwula, 80-72.

“Before I got into the ring, I was nervous,” said Baishanbo Nasiyiwula.“It’s my first time fighting on Golden Boy and DAZN. But I feel better now. My goal now is to be back in the WBA rankings and challenge for a world title.”


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