Cannon ready to unload

The Spectrum

Sophomore 165-pounder John-Martin Cannon had a rough start to his career as a Buffalo wrestler. But with the help of a caring role model and a promising offseason, this Cannon is locked, loaded and ready to fire on his Mid-American Conference foes.

Cannon began wrestling when he was 5 years old. Even then, Cannon took the sport as serious as a 5-year-old possibly could. With his father's guidance, Cannon learned the ins and outs of wrestling and got a fast start to a sport that would play a huge role in his life.

'My dad was always there, pushing me day in and day out,' Cannon said. 'He was always there when I was down on myself and pretty much taught me all I know about this sport.'

That knowledge helped Cannon succeeded at a high level in high school. Cannon gained six letters while captaining two seasons at Brockport High School. Cannon went 53-1 as a senior, setting the school's all-time record in wins with 191. He also finished third in the New York State championships in 2007 and 2008.

But Cannon's road to success hasn't been easy and he has struggled with problems that are typical to young wrestlers.

Weight programs in the sport are part of the wrestling lifestyle. Whether it is gaining or cutting pounds to make a specific weight class, the stress of making weight can sometimes get in the way of real-life obstacles and goals.

Such problems arose in Cannon's life during his first year at UB when he struggled to figure out which weight class he should wrestle in. His weight drastically fluctuated in an unhealthy manner, and he struggled to meet his target weight.

'That was a major part of my problem last year,' Cannon said. 'I was cutting too much weight too soon, and too quick before a match. It really catches up to you and affects your mindset as a wrestler.'

But Cannon is ready to move on after a disappointing freshman year. He moved up a weight class, has a new attitude and possesses determination to become the best.

'I chose [the 165-weight class],' Cannon said. 'I've learned smarter ways of cutting weight that keeps my muscles intact. I'm looking to step out and redeem myself. This year I feel as if I'm one of the best.'

Cannon has redeemed himself with his performance this year. During Buffalo's first dual of the season, Cannon earned a win by fall over Ashland University's Peter Lewis at 4:25. He recorded five takedowns in the first period alone and dominated Lewis from the very beginning.

Only a sophomore, Cannon looks to have a bright future with the Bulls. With his father's support, he will continue to work until he reaches the top. He is positive that his drive and relent will lead him to success.

'I've been doing this since I was 5 years old, so why stop now?' Cannon said. 'This sport may be hard on you when you lose, but there is not a better feeling than winning, and winning is what I want to do.'