In what is becoming increasingly bizarre, Andrew Cancio has had a second opponent turned down by the Nevada commission, according to ESPN.com, and his scheduled July 16 return to action has been postponed.
Cancio (21-5-2, 16 KO) signed with Top Rank earlier this year after losing to Rene Alvarado last November, after which Golden Boy dumped him. Cancio had been outspoken in some criticisms toward his former promoter, feeling they weren’t looking to promote him any further than they had even though he’d won a world title in early 2019.
(For the nitpickers, and Lord knows I’m generally one of them, Cancio’s secondary WBA “world” title was a really unique situation. Alberto Machado had beaten “super world” champion Jezzrel Corrales in 2017, but with Corrales missing weight for the fight, the WBA dropped it down to “world” title status, then basically just invented “super world” out of thin air for Gervonta Davis vs Jesus Cuellar six months later. Davis vacated that last year, and then they invented another “super world” out of thin air for Leo Santa Cruz vs Miguel Flores, showing pretty blatant favoritism toward more popular fighters.)
The 31-year-old Cancio, who is also now training with Joe Goossen, was set to face Manny Rojas on July 16. Not a great opponent, no arguing that, but hardly worse than, well, most of the fights that the Nevada State Athletic Commission have approved during the Top Rank Summer Series, yet Nevada nixed Rojas.
Cesar Valenzuela was drafted in. And now Valenzuela has been turned down by Nevada. Again, Valenzuela is not a great opponent, but no worse than Shakur Stevenson vs Felix Caraballo or Jose Pedraza vs Mikkel LesPierre, and we’re just sticking to what they recently sanctioned here.
Let’s be clear here: nobody is defending Cancio-Rojas or Cancio-Valenzuela as good fights. But Cancio is, in bare facts, a five-loss, 31-year-old fighter coming off of a defeat and looking to bounce back. This is not an unusual situation, and neither Rojas (18-4, 5 KO) nor Valenzuela (15-6-1, 5 KO) were unusually bad opponents for that type of situation.
Maybe Nevada simply feels that if they turned down Rojas, they can’t let the no-better Valenzuela in there. Or maybe, during 19-month layoff between Sept. 2016 and Apr. 2018, Andrew Cancio ran afoul of and was cursed by a witch to never fight outside of Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, ever again, and any attempt to do so will fail for reasons most of us cannot comprehend.
There’s good news for Valenzuela, though, as it looks like he’ll still be fighting July 16, taking on Alexis del Bosque (17-5, 9 KO) in an eight-round lightweight fight. del Bosque was supposed to fight Joseph Adorno on June 23, but Adorno was pulled from that fight after badly struggling to make weight.