In order to save the fight's status as being for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title, Golden Boy Promotions turned to the WBC rankings and their own company to find a new opponent for Erik Morales on the September 17 Mayweather vs Ortiz show. That opponent will be Pablo Cesar Cano, a 21-year-old Mexican prospect currently ranked 12th by the WBC.
From Dan Rafael:
"When Matthysse dropped out we looked at who the available contenders were and we wanted to still put on an exciting fight," Schaefer told ESPN on Friday night, just after the deal had been completed. "Matthysse against Morales would have been toe-to-toe action. We all know that. With Pablo Cesar Cano I know it will also be toe-to-toe action. And the rivalry between Mexico City (Cano) and Tijuana (Morales) continues."
Cano (22-0-1, 17 KO) is an aggressive young fighter taking a big step up in class with this fight, but you have to like that Golden Boy was able to find a legitimate prospect and legitimate junior welterweight with the very short notice. I really thought they'd wind up being "stuck with" Anthony Crolla, who was originally supposed to be Morales' opponent on the show, but they've gone in what may well be a much better direction, with all due respect to Crolla.
Morales (51-7, 35 KO) will be a pretty big favorite here, but this is a huge chance for Cano. Cano is 6'0", so he's a really big junior welterweight, and he'll have a good physical advantage against the 5'8" Morales. Add in the fact that Morales is also going to be taking this fight on short notice, and the fact that Morales never makes for bad fights, and you could still have a potentially terrific fight on your hands here. Morales will have veteran savvy and experience going for him, plus he's faced the far better competition. Cano will have youth and size advantages.