Earlier this week the Guangzhou Daily reported that Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] may make his first defense of the WBA "regular" Featherweight title on June 1st at Madison Square Garden as part of the Anthony Joshua Vs Jarrell Miller card, which would be streamed on DAZN much like his title win.
At the moment it appears the bout is one of a number of options open to him, and would allow him to generate massive attention, with the show set to be aired world wide, though it would mean that he would need a top opponent. The one name being linked to the possible contest is Jesus M Rojas (26-3-2, 19), the man Xu beat for the title in January.
Rojas was said to have been annoyed at the decision in January, and is pushing for a rematch, but a rematch isn't the only option that Xu has, and he is expected to decide what he wants to do by late March, with several other cities said to be offering to host a bout featuring him.
There is also an opportunity for Xu to take on a lesser foe, though would likely lose the June opportunity if he was to take on someone of a lower standing than Rojas. There would be some other possibilities, other than Rojas, for the date but it would almost certainly need to be a top opponent for the bout to be featured, and would also need to be someone that his new promoter Golden Boy Promotions, would be happy with.
It should be noted that whilst Guangzhao Daily was the first to report this other Chinese sites have also ran with the story, and it does seem like there is more than just "talk" regarding this possibility.
This past weekend we saw Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] score the biggest win of his career, as he claimed the WBA "regular" Featherweight title. It should however be noted that he's not the only notable Chinese fighter at 126lbs, as there is also Qiu Xiao Jun (23-4, 11) [裘晓君].
For years Jun was seen as the better fighter, the more promising man and the one more likely to reach the top of the sport. He has now been over-taken by Xu but looks set to begin a game of catch up.
Just days before Xu's bit win Jun held a press conference to announce that he would be back in the ring on February 26th to fight for the WBC International title. There was no opponent named but the show he's fighting on is supposed to have 5 bouts, with several title bouts. And Jun is also eyeing the chance to fight for a world title sooner rather than late, with some Chinese sites reporting June though that does seem stupidly early to get a shot.
Sadly we've not yet been informed of Jun's opponent for his February bout, or in fact any of the other bouts on the card, though we have been informed that the card will take place in Shenzhen.
This past week we looked at the opening odds for today's WBA "regular" Featherweight title bout, which saw champion Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) being heavily favoured over Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿]. You'll not be surprised to read that Rojas is still the betting favourite, but more markets have become available and the odds have changed a little from their opening prices.
When the markets first opened with the UK bookies Rojas was best priced as a 31/100 favourite and widely available at 1/5. Now however the best available on him is 1/6, with most pricing him at 1/7 or 1/8. Suggesting money has gone on the champion. The challenger, who was originally best priced at 4/1, is currently available at 5/1 with certain bookies.
Interestingly the draw has moved from from 22/1 to 25/1.
What wasn't available earlier in the week was the "method of victory" market, which is now available. The most likely result appears to be a win inside the distance for Rojas, with a Rojas KO/TKO/DQ win being best priced at 8/11. A decision for Rojas is available at 2/1, pretty much across the board. A decision win for Xu is 11/2 whilst a stoppage for the Chinese "Monster" is a massive 40/1. Given that Xu has only scored 2 stoppages in his career we totally understand the 40/1 odds on the stoppage for the challenger!
Although Xu isn't expected to get a stoppage Rojas is, and that places a big factor in the over/under market, which most bookies have at set at 9.5 rounds. The under is best priced at 5/6 whilst the over is available at 11/10. Likewise the bout is 8/11 to not go the distance and 5/4 to some how go 12 rounds, which seems odd given the odds on the bout going over 9.5 rounds.
Related - Can Xu become the WBA "regular" Featherweight champion?
Tomorrow in Houston WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) will take on little known Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿], in a defense of his "world" title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 126lb limit for the contest.
On the scales the champion weighed in at a ready 126lbs, dead on the limit. Xu, the taller man, was slightly lighter, at 125.5lb.
For Xu this will be his second bout on US soil, but is a huge step up in class, against a talented, tough and hard hitting champion. If Xu can score the upset he will be come the first man in Chinese history to claim some form of a "big 4" world title above Flyweight, even if it is only the "regular" title. The Chinese fighter is however, the clear under-dog.
Related-Can Xu become the WBA "regular" Featherweight champion?
(Image courtesy of Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions)
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