June 19, 2019 5 min read
Meet the latest member of Fight Club - Andrew ‘El Chango’ Cancio… Boxing’s Cinderella Man and Contenders’ First World Champion!
Imagine waking up before dawn and working a grueling outdoor job that leaves you sore and exhausted. By the time you finally get home, you have to spend what time is left with your young kids helping with homework and getting them ready for bed.
Fair to say that’s a pretty normal day for a lot of us.
Now imagine that after that exhausting job, you spend 2 hours everyday in the gym training as a professional fighter. A fighter who is up against other fights who do nothing but train full time with all expenses paid by managers and promoters.
The odds of being successful at a high level in boxing and also having a full time manual labor job are not good. The odds of winning a title?
That’s why this past February, when Andrew Cancio, a full time worker for the Southern California Electric Company, got a shot at world title against an undefeated young knockout artist, Alberto Machado, it wasn’t really a matter of if the champ would win, it was more a matter of how many rounds would it take for him to knock out Cancio.
The betting odds against Andrew were ridiculous and it was being hailed as an embarrassing mismatch even by boxing’s very loose standards. A journeyman who was only getting shot because the fight was near his hometown and the champ wanted an easy defense.
Sounds like the plot of a certain movie doesn’t it?
In the locker room before the fight for the first time in his career, Cancio’s legs couldn’t stop shaking. He wasn’t nervous he assured his trainer, Joe “Hoss” Janik but everyone involved worried the weight of the moment could be too much.
And seconds into the fight when Cancio hit the canvas from a single punch it looked as if all the naysayers were right. That he wasn’t on a world class level. That he should have stayed retired. That he should have work the gas company and not dream any bigger.
But at that moment, Andrew Cancio’s whole life flashed before his eyes. His up and down career, problems with managers and promoters, his children at ringside, the entire small town of Blythe, California that had traveled to see the hometown boy get a dream shot at the title, the grueling hours on a jackhammer under the sun… he thought of it all. Andrew then made the decision, in that split second, that he was going to fight back. He was not going to quit.
If you follow boxing, you know what happened next. Cancio began a relentless attack on the champ. Almost possessed, he pressed forward and began catching the surprised champion with overhand rights and body shots.
The momentum instantly changed and Cancio, just like the jackhammer he uses day in and out, chipped away at the champion until a perfectly timed body shot in the 4th round landed sending Machado down clutching his side.
The champ got up but he had no hope. Cancio attacked the body again sending the champ down again. The shocked and elated arena full of Cancio’s fans, friends and family was nothing short of pandemonium as every knew that one more knock down would stop the fight.
Cancio ran across the ring and unleashed a fury that sent the still in pain champion to the canvas and just like that…
boxing had it’s first major upset of 2019 and a full time worker was the new Super Featherweight Champion of the world.
And… oh yeah… we forgot to mention.
Andrew had worn Contenders in his previous fight. We loved him and his story so naturally when he got the unexpected title shot, we offered to set him up with some gear for the weigh in. When told him that no one had lost in our Rocky 2 boxer briefs (truth), Andrew simply said…
“Then that’s the pair I want.”
The rest as they say is boxing history.
Andrew is now the WBA Super Featherweight World Champion, the first fighter to win a world title wearing Contenders briefs and now the newest member of Fight Club.
He story is simply everything Contenders is about. The ultimate underdog who finally gets his shot and takes it. He went from repairing an electric line on a Monday to appearing on an ESPN talk show the following week.
Andrew will be defending his title in a contract mandated immediate rematch this weekend live on DAZN against a revenge minded Machado who feels Cancio caught him on an off night.
If you can believe it, Andrew is the underdog again but he prefers it that way.
“Nothing has changed. I’m still working the day job. I’m still training every night while exhausted. I’m still the underdog. But I know I belong now. I’m gonna pick up right where I left off. Coming forward, breaking him down. I’m going for the knockout. Financially nothing changes for me unless I win this fight. In strange way I have so much more riding on it this fight the last one. I intend to fight even harder.”
It’s the buzz fight that everyone is talking about. Contenders will be in the house and we’re backing our guy to again dig deep and pull off the upset.
We’ll let the champion get the last say.
“Contenders hooked me up before I was a champion when no one wanted to work with me. Contenders hooked me up when I got a chance to be a champion and few people wanted to help. Now that I’m champion, all sorts of companies reached out to me. I told my manager, I don’t care who comes. I’m rocking Contenders boxers at my weigh in and during my fight. Gotta stand by the people who stood by you. I’m honored to be part of their Fight Club.”
About Contenders Fight Club:
Contenders Clothing established Fight Club, our endorsement program for professional boxers and MMA fighters in 2019. The first athlete signed to Fight Club was boxer, Francisco ‘Chia’ Santana who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of 2018 after wearing Contenders boxer briefs at a weigh-in. The second fighter to join Fight Club is one of the most exciting fighters in all of boxing, John ‘The Gladiator’ Molina who fights in the co-main event of Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman on July 20th. The third official member of Fight Club, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion, Andrew Cancio makes the first defense of his title on June 21st.
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