Junior lightweight world titlist Andrew Cancio is moving on from his breakout two-fight series with Alberto Machado to take on Rene Alvarado in a rematch.
Cancio will make his mandatory defense against Alvarado on Nov. 23 (DAZN) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday.
The fight will be Cancio’s second 130-pound title defense and his first fight since scoring a major upset to win the belt by knocking out Machado with body shots in the fourth round in February and then blasting him out in the third round, also with a brutal body attack, in their June 21 rematch. Both fights also took place at Fantasy Springs.
In December 2015, Cancio knocked out Alvarado in the eighth round, also at Fantasy Springs, where Cancio, who is from nearby Blythe, California, is a popular draw and will be boxing for the fifth time in a row.
“Andrew Cancio is a very resilient fighter and has proven himself with his raw talent and passion, showing his true potential to grow in this industry,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “Meanwhile, Rene Alvarado has also put in hard work during his tenure, with an impressive determination in the ring that has kept up his winning streak over the past couple of years. This year, we’ve put on many high-quality bouts at Fantasy Springs and are confident this event will be the best so far.”
Two fights after Cancio (21-4-2, 16 KOs), 30, defeated Alvarado in 2015, Cancio suffered a knockout loss to Joseph Diaz Jr. in 2016 and retired. He ended his retirement 19 months later and has won four fights in a row, including a world title, to become one of boxing’s feel-good stories of the year.
“I’m very excited to return to my second home, Fantasy Springs Casino on Nov. 23 for the rematch with Rene Alvarado,” Cancio said. “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.”
Since a unanimous 10-round decision loss to former world titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa in March 2017, Alvarado (31-8, 20 KOs), 30, of Nicaragua, has won seven fights in a row to earn a shot at Cancio’s belt.
“Nicaragua is known for its great world champions, and I’m one step away from becoming one,” Alvarado said. “I’m coming for the victory against Andrew Cancio on Nov. 23. We know each other very well, and it’s going to be a war.”
China’s Xu Can (17-2, 3 KOs), 25, will defend his secondary featherweight world title for the second time when he meets Manny Robles III (18-0, 8 KOs), 25, of Los Angeles, in the co-feature. Can will be fighting in the United States for the third time. He won the belt from Jesus Rojas by decision in Houston in January before returning to China to make his first defense in May, a sixth-round knockout of former junior featherweight world titlist Shun Kubo.
“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,” Can said. “Manny Robles III as earned his opportunity. He is smart and tough, but I plan to remain champion for a very long time.”
Robles, who will be boxing at Fantasy Springs for the ninth time, is trained by his father, Manny Robles Jr., who is the current trainer of unified heavyweight world titleholder Andy Ruiz Jr.
“My time has come,” Robles III said. “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.”
In another bout on the card, welterweight Rashidi Ellis (21-0, 14 KOs), 26, of Lynn, Massachusetts, will face Eddie Gomez (23-3, 13 KOs) in a 10-round rematch. Ellis, who will be coming off a 13-month layoff due to injuries, knocked out Gomez in the first round when they met in December 2016 at Fantasy Springs.