A rematch between Andrew Cancio and Rene Alvarado for Cancio’s secondary WBA “world” super featherweight title is official for Nov. 23, which had been expected for a while now.
The fight will stream live on DAZN from Fantasy Springs in Indio, California, where Cancio has become a fixture, including both of his breakout fights this year, a pair of wins over Alberto Machado in February and June.
Unfortunately for fight fans, Cancio-Alvarado II will be going head-to-head with the FOX pay-per-view headlined by Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz, so it’s going to fly way under the radar, but there are only so many dates left this year, and boxing promoters remain obsessed with Saturday nights.
Cancio (21-4-2, 16 KO) has become something of a blue collar hero in 2019, upsetting Machado to win his belt on Feb. 9 and proving it was far from a fluke on June 21. He stopped Machado in four the first time, and knocked him out with a body shot in the rematch.
Alvarado (31-8, 20 KO) is a 30-year-old veteran from Nicaragua and the mandatory challenger for Cancio’s belt. Cancio stopped him in the eighth round in Dec. 2015, which was a big win for Cancio at the time, as he had lost two of his previous three fights.
“I’m very excited to return to my second home, Fantasy Springs Casino on Nov. 23 for the rematch with Rene Alvarado,” said Cancio. “This is my 12th time fighting there, and I love the enthusiasm my fans bring to the venue in support of my fights. Rene Alvarado and I have fought before and now he’s earned another opportunity to fight me. I know he’ll be very well prepared to try and take my WBA world title. However, I plan on defending my championship in impressive style once again and show boxing fans in attendance and watching on DAZN that I’m the best 130-pound fighter in the world, period!”
“Nicaragua is known for its great world champions, and I’m one step away from becoming one,” said Alvarado. “I’m coming for the victory against Andrew Cancio on November 23. We know each other very well, and it’s going to be a war.”
The show will feature another world title fight, as Xu Can (17-2, 3 KO) of China defends the WBA featherweight title against unbeaten prospect Manny Robles III (18-0, 8 KO).
Can, 25, started his career just 3-2, but has gone on quite a streak, including impressive wins this year over Jesus Rojas and Shun Kubo. He was the “secondary” WBA titleholder, but with Leo Santa Cruz vacating his “super world” belt to move up to 130 pounds, Can is the only WBA world titleholder at 126 pounds for the moment.
Robles, 25, is a Los Angeles native who has fought his last four bouts at Fantasy Springs. He’s considered a good prospect, but has had some struggles in each of his last three bouts, and notably in his last two. He beat Jose Santos Gonzalez by split decision last November, and eked out another split over Rigoberto Hermosillo in May. This is sort of a make-or-break opportunity for Robles.
“I’m ready to make the second defense of my world title,” said Can. “I defended it with honor in my home country of China, and now I’ll come back to the United States to defend it against a tough fighter. Manny Robles III as earned his opportunity. He is smart and tough, but I plan to remain champion for a very long time.”
”My time has come,” said Robles. “All of my amateur experience, the hours spent in the gym, and the tough fights as a professional have prepared me for this challenge. I’m ready to bring a world title to Los Angeles and make everyone at home proud. Xu Can is a phenomenal fighter, but on Nov. 23, the Robles family will crown its very own world champion.”
There will also be another rematch on the card, as Rashidi Ellis (21-0, 14 KO) takes on Eddie Gomez (23-3, 13 KO) in a 10-round welterweight bout.
Ellis, 26, knocked Gomez out in just 79 seconds back in Dec. 2016, and at that time it looked like Gomez, once considered a top prospect, was going to be a flameout. Now 27, the Bronx native has rattled off three straight wins and has said he feels back to his old self.
Elsewhere on the card: super featherweight prospect Victor Morales Jr (12-0, 7 KO) will fight for the first time since signing with Golden Boy in an eight-round bout ... Alberto Melian (5-1, 3 KO) will look to come back from his first pro loss in an eight-round super bantamweight fight. Melian was a two-time Olympian but has looked very limited as a pro ... Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-3-1, 6 KO) will take on veteran Saul Corral (30-14, 20 KO) in an eight-round junior welterweight fight ... super flyweight Daniel Barrera will make his pro debut ... and junior middleweight Alex Rincon (7-0, 6 KO) will be back in a six-round bout.