by David P. Greisman
Pablo Cesar Cano is coming off a loss, the fifth of his career and the fourth in his past eight fights. Yet that latest defeat, a split decision dropped to Alan Sanchez on May 6, doesn’t seem to bother him that much.
“I think this is something that all fighters must go through,” Cano said, speaking to BoxingScene.com with translation provided by a publicist. “The style of my opponent was very difficult because of his height. His fighting style complicated things, and I didn’t have enough time to figure him out in order to get the necessary power punches in there.
“I don’t consider it too much of a setback,” he said. “All fighters go through this, and that’s the reason why I’m training 10 times harder for this fight coming up.”
“This fight” is a bout with Mauricio Herrera, the longtime junior welterweight who is also coming off a loss, dropping a wide split decision to Frankie Gomez the night after Cano lost to Sanchez. Herrera is 2-3 in his last five fights, though he believes he should be 4-1.
Herrera said the Cano bout is taking place at a catch-weight of 144 pounds. Their fight will air this Friday on Estrella TV.
“I know that he [Herrera] has a very complicated style and he’s fought many major opponents, but our career trajectories are similar and that’s why this fight is important to the both of us,” Cano said. “He likes to complicate things in the fight, especially looking at his fight with Danny Garcia in which he makes the other fighter desperate in order to get in there.
“We’ve developed a game plan to combat Mauricio’s complicated style,” he said. “We are favoring a bit more distance over footwork. The game plan changes once you’re inside the ring, but for the most part that’s our strategy.”
Herrera is 36 but has been pro for only about a decade. Cano is 27 but has actually been in the paid ranks for about a year and a half longer than Herrera. After turning pro at 16, Cano has essentially learned on the job, with defeats along the way to Erik Morales in 2011, Paulie Malignaggi in 2012, Shane Mosley in 2013 and Fernando Angulo in 2014.
“I’m very thankful for being able to have that head start in my career,” Cano said. “I’ve had to learn how the game is played through a lot of hard fights. That’s why it’s even more important that this fight is a launching pad to so many more. It’s a launching pad to fight even bigger fighters, a launching pad to even getting into the rankings to get a shot at a world title and any other opportunity that gets offered to me after winning this.
“Those hard fights have pushed me to mature not only just as a fighter but as a person,” he said. “Those hard fights have shown me the work that I still have to do in order to get to a higher level. Before, when I was a younger fighter, it’d be hard to go and train, but since those hard fights I’m more disciplined and more focused on the task at hand.”
His record currently reads 29-5-1 with 1 no contest — a 2015 victory over Juan Carlos Abreu was overturned after Cano tested positive for a banned substance. Cano would of course prefer to get his 30th win against Herrera. But even if he suffers his sixth loss, Cano doesn’t believe that will mean his career is on a downward trajectory.
“This can determine a lot,” he said. “But I’m still young. I still have a very long career ahead of me.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]