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Pablo Cesar Cano is the TSS 2019 Comeback Fighter of the Year

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  • Pablo Cesar Cano is the TSS 2019 Comeback Fighter of the Year

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    Good fighters commonly regress into journeymen. But sometimes pundits are too quick to conclude that this transition has been made. Junior welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano is a case in point.

    Cano turned pro in 2006 at age 16 in his native Mexico and was unbeaten in his first 24 fights. He first setback came at the hands of future Hall of Famer Eric Morales in 2011. Cano suffered a cut over his left eye in the third round that got progressively worse and the fight was stopped by the ring doctor after the 10th. Cano was a late replacement for Lucas Matthysse.

    Thirteen months later, Cano challenged WBA welterweight title-holder Paulie Malignaggi on Malignaggi’s turf in Brooklyn. Cano was the better man that night, but it wasn’t reflected in the decision.

    Respected judge Glenn Feldman had it 118-109 for the Mexican, but he was overruled by his cohorts who each had it 114-113 for Paulie. The crowd booed the decision and a survey of ringside reporters showed a 19-8-2 skew in favor of Cano who came in a shade over the 147-pound limit effectively making this a non-title fight.

    Cano lost five of his next 10 fights, beginning with a 12-round setback to long-in-the-tooth Shane Mosley and concluding with a devastating loss to Argentina’s Marcelo Nicolas Lopez, a bout that was stopped in the second round with Cano on his feet but unfit to continue.

    Cano was then only 28 years old, but one could see that he had crossed the divide into the realm of a journeyman. But hold the phone.

    In his lone outing last year, Canelo upset Kazakhstan’s previously undefeated Ruslan Madiyev, winning a technical decision, and this year he lived up to his nickname El Demoledor (The Demolition Man) with brutal stoppages of Jorge Linares and Roberto Ortiz.

    His KO of Linares was a huge upset. Rated one of the sport’s finest technicians, Linares had held world titles in three weight divisions and had recently given the great Vasiliy Lomachenko a hard fight, losing by TKO 10in a bout that was even on the scorecards through the nine completed rounds.

    The Cano-Linares fight had just started when Cano dropped Linares with a booming right hand. Two more knockdowns followed before the referee finally stepped in to stop the carnage. Roberto Ortiz lasted one round longer. Cano took him out in the second.

    Cano’s record currently stands at 33-7-1 (23 KOs). One doesn’t know where he will go from here. He competes in a very strong division and one would not rate him one of the top dogs. But in 2019 he showed that he was far from washed-up.

    Pablo Cesar Cano is the TSS 2019 Comeback Fighter of the Year.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Excellent choice and I think the correct one. Cano has been one of my favorites for years. That said, I did not think he was destined to anything but journeyman status as 2019 commenced. But he got his way back into contention with the wins notated in Arne's article (especially the Linares win which was one the the bigger upsets of the year).

    For the record, I thought Cano handily beat Malignaggi in 2012.


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Surprise pick and a good one.

  • #3
    I've always liked Cano, who was blatantly robbed in his bout with Malignaggi. Because of his recent and impressive successes, I see him as more of a gatekeeper than a journeyman at this stage of the game. But for how long? A lucrative and respectable 2020 awaits him, but it's likely that he's a year or two away from choosing between full-blown journeyman status or retirement.