Thursday night’s Ring City USA main event was originally supposed to see Alberto Machado, a former 130-pound titlist, face unbeaten lightweight prospect Hector Tanajara.
Instead, Machado will be facing Angel Fierro on about nine days’ notice, which the 30-year-old “Explosivo” admits isn’t exactly ideal.
“We had a plan for Hector Tanajara. Fierro is a good fighter, he is young. He has a style a little similar to Tanajara but more aggressive,” Machado said. “I’ve only watched one of Angel Fierro’s fights and don’t know much about him other than he is a tough Mexican fighter.
“The truth is that the last-minute change does affect me a little, but this happens in boxing. I am the main event of this big card and I have to do whatever it is for the show to continue even though Tanajara is sick. I have to make adjustments and move on.”
Machado (22-2, 18 KO) won the WBA junior lightweight title back in 2017 by knocking out Jezzrel Corrales, who had missed weight for the fight. After two defenses had him positioned as a rising star, he was upset by Andrew Cancio in 2019, and then lost a rematch four months later, too.
Machado moved up to lightweight in Dec. 2019, stopping Luis Porozo in two rounds, but hasn’t fought since then, and rust could also be a factor.
The 22-year-old Fierro (17-1-1, 13 KO) doesn’t have much on his record past a loss to Alex Martin in Jan. 2020, and then a win over Alexis Reyes last October to bounce back. But a young fighter with a chance to make a mark can be dangerous, even going into Machado’s backyard for the fight.
“I was preparing for a fight on March 12 and this fight came so I said, ‘let’s go!’” Fierro said. “We know we are in enemy territory being in his hometown. But I have no worries, it’s going to be a war. This fight is going to be a war.”
Fierro also realizes this is a big step up on paper, saying, “Alberto Machado is an elite fighter. But I have stayed prepared for this opportunity. I am ready to fight. I have seen him fight before. He has been on my radar because I knew that there was a possibility I would fight him. We studied the Cancio fights. We have been analyzing his strengths and weaknesses, his chin, everything. We are well prepared for whatever he can do.”
For Machado, it’s a chance to get back to where he was just a few years back, while still in what should be his prime years.
“I think I had great performances at 130 pounds but right now at the lightweight division my weight is good, and my body feels more comfortable,” he said. “I was Alberto ‘Explosivo’ Machado in the past and I feel that back now at 135. I feel great right now.”