Photos: Sumio Yamada
4:1 underdog Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (32-8, 21 KOs) outclassed and dethroned WBA super featherweight champion Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (21-5-2, 16 KOs) on Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
Alvarado landed repeated flush punches on Cancio, who came up on the short end of most exchanges. The battering was finally halted at the end of round seven. The win was sweet revenge as Alvarado had previously knocked out by Cancio back in 2015.
“It’s a feeling very hard to describe,” said Alvarado. “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.”
The now former champion Cancio said, “We felt great throughout camp, and I just couldn’t get off. I 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.”