Not too long ago, Madison Square Garden was the scene of heartbreak for Jorge Linares (45-4, 28 KOs).
Last year he gave pound-for-pound king, Vasiliy Lomachenko the toughest bout of his career, but ultimately came up short. This Friday, Linares will return to The Garden with hopes of having a much different outcome.
The former three division weight champion will be matched up with rugged veteran Pablo Cesar Cano (31-7-1, 21 KOs). Both men are as motivated as can possibly be, but for their fight there will be a little more added incentive.
The WBC has officially slated this matchup as a title eliminator. That means the winner of this contest will be next in line for WBC Super Lightweight champion Jose Ramirez.
The thought of becoming a four-time weight division champion must be mouthwatering for Linares. However, he can’t get too ahead of himself and look past his opponent.
Cano has shared the ring with some of the very best ever including Shane Mosley and Erik Morales so he won’t be intimidated by the skill of Linares.
Cano also has caused his share of upsets, most notably against Ashley Theophane and Mauricio Herrera. Linares is of course in a league of his own compared to those fighters, but Cano does have a skill set that can cause him a few issues. Cano is a pressure fighter that spends the entire fight coming forward.
That constant pressure can eventually wear down Linares at some point in the contest. That pressure of course won’t be easy to implement as Linares’ boxing skills are almost unmatched. His ability to make his opponents not only miss, but also pay, could become a detriment to Cano.
There is plenty on the line for both men as a title shot looms just around the corner. Expect both fighters to come out guns blazing and looking to put on a show.