Pablo Cesar Cano has had two big chances in the last two years to make his name, and though he's had brave and inspired performances against both Erik Morales and Paulie Malignaggi, at the end of the night, the other man's hand was raised.
Next Saturday, Cano will be across the ring from "Sugar" Shane Mosley in Cancun, Mexico, and says that this time, he's going to make it clear:
"I really feel good for the biggest fight of my career," said Cano. "I have a winning mentality, I am aware of who my opponent is, one who will surely one day be in the Hall of Fame, but that's why I feel very motivated to take that step that I need to take. This time we will make it very clear who won. If we can not get a knockout, I'm sure it will be a very clear decision win."
Cano (26-2-1, 20 KO) did very well last October against Malignaggi, losing a debated decision and putting the WBA welterweight titlist on the canvas. Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KO) hasn't won a fight in over four years, since he mauled Antonio Margarito and battered him into corner submission in California, going 0-3-1 since then, losing badly to Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Canelo Alvarez, and drawing with Sergio Mora.
But while the 41-year-old Mosley is definitely past his prime -- and can fairly be called a "shot" fighter -- Cano certainly isn't Mayweather, Pacquiao, or Alvarez. In fact, as much as we may all want to see Shane retire (which he announced he had last year after being smoked by Canelo), this is the exact sort of opponent he should be in with if he's going to continue on, which obviously he is, for what are also probably quite obvious reasons. If he can't beat Cano, he's toast, period. If he can, then he can exist as a gatekeeper for a while, probably. He's never going to be a serious contender again, but greater fighters than Shane Mosley have hung around longer past their expiration date. It's nothing new, not that that makes it any more enjoyable to watch.