AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas - In a battle for the NABF featherweight title, Joseph Diaz Jr. (22-0, 13KOs) dominated and stopped a game Andrew Cancio (17-4-2, 13KOs) in nine rounds.
The first round was slow paced, not much landed by either boxer as they were feeling each other out. The second round was still a calculating encounter at the start, but they started to get more active when they got in close. Cancio was starting to get warmed up, throwing more punches and luring Diaz into a dog fight. Diaz was more than happy to respond, throwing many punches in return.
Diaz started off much better in the third, landing very solid punches and opening up a cut on Cancio's nose. They were trading more often on the inside in the fourth, with Diaz outlanding him and working the jab very well. Diaz was unloading some big punches in the fifth, opening up the cut of Cancio even further.
Diaz was switching up his punches in the sixth, landing good punches to the body and then back to the head. Cancio was taking a beating and seemed to be very frustrated with no answers.
Diaz was landing some very flush punches in the seventh. Cancio was able to take the shots because of Diaz's lack of power. Cancio was looking for one big shot, but not able to land anything of note. The hand speed of Diaz was on display in the eight, as he was throwing rapid multi-punch combinations. Cancio was able to get in some offense, but he was always getting hit back with quick counters in return. Cancio was a bloody mess by the end of this round as the cut on his nose was exploding. His corner nearly stopped the fight before the start of the ninth.
Cancio came out for the ninth and Diaz continued to dominate the action until the referee stepped in to wave off the fight as trainer Danny Garcia (for Cancio) made a signal to him to stop the fight.
“This is a great victory, it will open up so many doors for me moving forward,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “I felt very comfortable today, I was the better puncher, I was faster and was able to cut the ring more efficiently. I knew that Cancio was going to be a strong guy, I knew he was going to be tough and try to push me around, so I had to be the better fighter tonight. I was able to display my defense and my power.”