By Francisco Salazar (photo by Hogan Photos)
Tonight's crossroads bout between junior welterweights Pablo Cesar Cano and unbeaten Ruslan Madiev will answer the following two questions.
Will Cano do enough to win to earn another payday on a televised card or will Madiev prove he is worthy of being called a legit prospect?
Cano and Madiev will square off in a 10 round bout inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both fighters weighed in below the junior welterweight limit on Wednesday, with Cano weighing 139.4 pounds and Madiev tipping the scale at 139.2 pounds.
The Cano-Madiev fight, along with 10 round super middleweight bout Maricela Cornejo and Franchon Crews-Dezurn, will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
Cano (30-7-1 1 NC, 21 knockouts), who resides in Tlalnepantla, Mexico, has not fought since his second round knockout loss to Marcelino Lopez on Oct. 13. Cano has lost three of his last four bouts, with the other defeats coming by split decision.
The 28-year-old Cano is best known for his split decision loss to then-WBA welterweight titleholder Paul Malignaggi, a fight many boxing scribes thought Cano did enough to win.
Madiev (12-0, 5 KOs), is originally from Karaganda, Kazakhstan (the same hometown of Gennady Golovkin) and now lives in Big Bear Lake, California. He is trained by Abel Sanchez.
Madiev last fought on May 5, winning a 10 round unanimous decision over Jesus Perez Campos.
Cano and Madiev are both aggressive fighters who will come forward and fight in the pocket. Who imposes their will or attacks the body to break down their opponent remains to be seen.
Cornejo (12-2, 5 KOs), who weighed in 166.2 pounds at Wednesday's weigh-in, has won her last eight bouts.
Crews-Duzurn (3-1, 1 KO) has won her last three bouts since losing her pro debut to Claressa Shields in November of 2016. The Baltimore reside will be fighting in a 10 round bout for the first time in her pro career.
Welterweight prospect Raul Curiel (4-0, 3 KOs) will face Ryan Pino (8-2, 4 KOs) in the six round swing bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing