On 21 Sept. 1826, at the Eagle tavern, City Road, London, he contended without shoes for the first prize with James Warren of Redruth (conspicuous for his bravery at the time of the loss of the Kent, Indiaman, in 1825), and although the latter made a gallant struggle, Cann was declared the victor.
He had long been known as the champion of Devonshire, and he now challenged James Polkinghorne, the champion of Cornwall. Polkinghorne was 6 ft. 2 in. high, weighed 320lb, and had not wrestled for some years, being the landlord of the Red Lion inn at St. Columb Major. Cann was but 5 ft. 8½ in. in height, and weighed 175lbs. This match, which was for £200 a side for the best of three back falls, took place at Tamar Green, Morice Town, near Devonport, on 23 October 1826, in the presence of upwards of 12,000 spectators. After a long struggle the Cornishman won a fair back fall. Cann next threw Polkinghorne, but a dispute arising, a toss gave it in favour of the latter. After several other falls, Polkinghorne threw Cann, but the triers were divided in opinion as to the fall. Polkinghorne left the ring, and after much wrangling, the match was declared to be drawn. The Devonshire man, with the toes and heels of his shoes, kicked his adversary in the most frightful manner, while the Cornishman neither wore shoes nor practised kicking. Cann was a fighter of the Devon style, a "kicker"; he wore boots with toes that had been soaked in bullocks blood and then baked as "hard as flint", Polkinghorne fought the Cornish style and was a "hugger" and fought without footware. The fight is remembered by a plaque on the Red Lion pub in St Columb Major, Cornwall where Polkinghorne was landlord. Cann would fight any man in England for £500.
In 1861 Lord Palmerston headed a subscription among the west-country gentlemen, by which the sum of £200 was presented to the former champion of Devonshire. Cann was for many years the proprietor of an inn, and died in his native place, Colebrooke, on 7 April 1864 and is buried in Colebrooke Churchyard. He had four brothers, James, Robert, George, and William, all of whom were wrestlers. Messrs. Sparkes & Pope, solicitors, Crediton, were said, at the end of the nineteenth century, to have possessed a manuscript biography of Cann.