Jamel Herring, Andrew Cancio and Alberto Machado talk Cancio-Machado II

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Slotting is taking place at 130 pounds and puzzle pieces are ashift as we look at Friday, when Andrew Cancio will rematch Alberto Machado.

One interested “fan” who’ll watch keenly is Jamel Herring, the WBO junior lightweight titlist champ who snagged that title when he downed Masayuki Ito and showed himself to be a wise pugilist who has benefited from his relationship with new trainer Brian McIntyre, who also trains undefeated three-division champion Terence “Bud” Crawford.

Herring told followers on social media that, in looking at the landscape, he thinks maybe he and the Cancio-Machado II winner could get it on. “(Gervonta) ‘Tank’ (Davis, who holds the WBA super-duper 130-pound title) has already hinted that he plans on moving up to 135, which would elevate, I believe, Cancio to ‘full champion’ or however the WBA works. So why not? I’m game for it.”

On Friday, Cancio, who holds a version of the WBA title that RingTV.com doesn’t recognize, will face Machado (21-1, 17 knockouts) in Indio, California. The 20-4-2 (with 15 KOs) boxer earned a surge in his fanbase when he upset Machado, last February, then fans learned he works his ass off as a laborer and trains his ass off to get into world-class shape.

I posed this to Herring: Doesn’t Machado have a more than a decent chance to reverse that curse and avenge that upset?

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Jamel Herring (right) vs. Masayuki Ito. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“I believe he does. If you ask me, he’s the better of the two, skill-wise, but I think the weight is what’s going to kill him again,” the 33-year-old fighting pride of Coram, Long Island, a proud Marine, told me. “He doesn’t use a nutritionist, I heard, and he slows down tremendously after a certain point in the fight. Let’s not forget that Cancio’s confidence is at a full-time high and he’s going to stay in Machado’s chest.”

Cancio, ranked No. 5 at 130 pounds by RingTV.com, spoke to how he feels coming in to the scrap, which screens on DAZN. “I haven’t let the win change my lifestyle. I’m still working hard. You have to work harder to keep the belt and we’re doing everything to keep it on the night of the fight. Nothing has changed except that people stop and recognize me on the street more and want a photo with me. They say, ‘What’s up, champ?’ It’s pretty cool but we’re still grinding. I’m very confident that I can take Machado’s best punch. I feel mentally stronger this time. The first time around I came in nervous. This time around I’m ready to come in from the first round,” the fan fave said.

And Machado has talked a solid game as we count down to Friday, as well.

“I have had more time to prepare this time around. Now I feel great. Cancio is a great fighter but I am ready to come back on Friday. I never underestimated my opponent. I knew he was good because that’s how he earned the opportunity to fight for a world title but I never underestimated him at any moment. It was just a situation and it ended in his favor that night,” Machado said. “I wasn’t surprised the first time. I had experienced a lot before the last fight but what happened has happened. Now we are coming back in better condition to walk away with the victory. I have always been a dedicated fighter. This was not the exception. It was an excellent camp and we had a lot of time to train. I think that will be the difference in making sure I score the victory when I step into the ring.”

So yes, Herring (20-2, 10 KOs), ranked No. 4 by RingTV.com, will lean in and focus on the face-off. “Of course! If I didn’t have to go to Camp Lejeune (where he served as an active duty Marine), I would go watch the fight up close, to be honest. If Machado starts fading after the fourth, he will need to use his natural abilities such as his height and reach. The problem with him, at times, is that he gets too focused on knocking his opponents out. Falls in love with his power.”

 

 

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069.

 

 

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