Alberto Machado returned to the scene of the crime to exorcise past demons.
The former 130-pound titlist put behind the worst stretch of his career to end 2019 on a positive note, scoring a 2nd round knockout of Ecaudor’s Luis Porozo in his lightweight debut Friday evening at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Machado floored Porozo three times, the last of which was for the full count at 2:59 of round two.
The bout was the first for Puerto Rico’s Machado since suffering the second of two straight knockout losses to Andrew Cancio, both of which came in this very venue. The first loss to Cancio ended his 16-month stay as a junior lightweight titlist in a major upset this past February, also costing the lean Boricua his perfect record.
The rematch proved even more disastrous, although providing a learning lesson that the time had come to move up in weight. It didn’t produce immediate returns, as Porozo (14-2, 7KOs) immediately took the fight to the former champ.
“He had a chaotic style, but we were able to figure out and get the victory,” Machado (22-1, 18KOs) admitted to DAZN’s Claudia Trejos after the fight.
Following a rough opening round, Machado settled into a groove in round two. It was over from there for Porozo, who was able to connect with power shots in round one but forced on the defensive for the balance of the fight.
Machado effectively cut off the ring, flooring the Ecuadorian with a body shot for the bout’s first knockdown. The sequence provided a pathway to finish off his foe, continuing with his body attack in sending Porozo back to the canvas moments later.
Porozo once again beat the count, and in glancing at the time clock decided to become fleet of foot in hopes of making it out of the round. It wouldn’t happen, as Machado smothered Porozo before doubling him over with another body shot for the third and final knockdown. Referee Thomas Taylor reached the count of ten to officially end the fight.
Machado picks up his first win in 14 months, when he stopped Yaundale Evans in a round for his final successful title defense. The losses to Cancio ended his days as junior lightweight, with hopes of landing a title fight at lightweight in the New Year.
First, though, is a targeted clash with another former titlist.
“I wouldn’t mind a Puerto Rico versus Mexico fight for my first fight of 2020,” noted Machado. “I’d love to fight someone like (former 130-pound titlist) Francisco Vargas next.”
The bout served as the chief support to unbeaten welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr’s crossroads bout versus veteran Brad Solomon.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox