Later today we'll see WBA Featherweight champion Can Xu (18-2, 3) [徐灿] making his next defense as he takes on British challenger Leigh Wood (24-2, 14) in Essex.
Yesterday, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men made the 126lb limit with no issues at all. In fact both men were well under the limit.
On the scales Xu was 125.2lbs, almost a full pound under the limit, and he looked in great shape for a man who has been out of the ring since November 2019, when he beat Manny Robles III in his second title defense. Despite the inactivity, due to the Covid19 situation, Xu has been preparing for bouts, having planned a 2020 bout with Josh Warrington and having been in the US for quite some time this year preparing for bouts that never happened.
As for Wood he was ever so slightly heavier, coming in at 125.3lbs. Unlike Can he was active last year and has actually fought earlier this year, scoring a win over Reece Mould. It'll be interesting to see if his confidence on the back of that recent win will show through here, or whether Xu's activity and insane work rate will be too much for him.
For fans wanting to watch this one it will be shown worldwide on DAZN.
Related - Can looks to chop down Wood in UK debut at the end of July
(Image credit - Mark Robinson / Matchroom)
Yesterday various Chinese news sources broke the news that WBA Featherweight champion Can Xu (18-2, 3) [徐灿] would be returning to the ring at the end of July tot make his next defense of his world title against British champion Leigh Wood (24-2, 14) on July 31st at the Matchroom HQ in London.
The bout has been rumoured in Chinese boxing circles since an annual meeting took place in Sichuan with the head of the WBA China announcing the plans, though at the time the bout wasn't yet confirmed.
Notably Xu has been training for a bout in the US since February, spending time at the Ali Boxing Gym in Miami to prepare for his next defense. At the time the plan was for him to fight on June 13th against Emilio Sanchez on a show in Los Angeles, however negotiations broke down for that fight. The plan was for Xu to then move on and face Hector Luis Garcia, from the Dominican Republic, with that bout being eyed for June 20th, before broadcasting issues forced the bout to be rescheduled to July 1st then July 9th then cancelled all together before ever being officially announced.
In June Xu posted comments on social media explaining that he he was getting frustrated at things before Garcia ended up being pulled from the bout all together, reportedly following a positive test for Covid19.
As a result of Garcia needing to pull out, and growing frustrations with Xu, who didn't fight at all in 2020 and hasn't fought this year either, Matchroom, Golden Boy and Max Power Promotions have all worked together to get this bout sorted for July 31st.
Whilst Xu has been inactive during the pandemic the same can't be said of Wood who managed to pick up a win in ebruary this year, stopping the previously unbeaten Reece Mould to win the British title. That win has allowed him to get this fight, and come in with some momentum, despite a 2020 loss to James Dickens.
PRESS RELEASE: Bruno 'The Terminator' Tarimo puts hand up for impatient Xu Can with no clear date for Josh Warrington
Bruno 'The Terminator' Tarimo puts hand up for impatient Xu Can with no clear date for Josh Warrington.
Chinas only World Champion WBA World Featherweight Champion Xu Can, is growing frustrated with the uncertainty of an upcoming unification clash with Josh Warrington.
The boxer from the Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, has been out of the ring since retaining the WBA's World featherweight championship by winning a unanimous decision over Manny Robles in November 2019.
Xu (18-2, 3 KOs) has been waiting for a long time to get in the ring with International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Josh Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs) and with the recent covid issues in the UK it doesn't look like happening anytime soon
"I'm tired of waiting; I want to be a fighting champion. Many professional fighters I know have retired and become coaches because there is really no competition during these times. Some even changed careers and got other jobs. But I have to fight. It's my job. After all, I have waited for a year for the chance to face Warrington. My next goal is a unification war."
One fighter offering his services to the impatient Xu Can is WBA and IBF World rated Bruno "The Termintor" Tarimo 25-2
Tarimo, The Australian based Tanzanian is the chief sparring partner of Australia's greatest export The Fighting Moloney Twins Andrew and Jason.
Bruno discussed a potential WBA World Featherweight Clash with Can.
"Xu Can, I know your frustration I went over 1 year before my last fight. If there is no Warrington, I'm ready to fight you in Australia, In China, or if your lounge room. For me it's anyone, anywhere, anytime.
I would do anything to fight for the World title. I live in Australia, because of the pandemic I have not seen my wife or kids in over a year and I know with this World Championship opportunity it will change my families life.
Xu Can you throw a million punches, but you cannot stop the Terminator. My mission is to get the World title and I will not stop until I get my World Championship. Any one that gets in my way, Hasta La Vista baby!"
Should there be no Warrington fight in the immediate future, no doubt Can v Tarimo would deliver a fight of the year candidate.
Late last night the WBA announced a Featherweight world title eliminator between Japan's Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21) [大沢宏晋] and Dominican fighter Hector Luis Garcia (12-0-0-2, 9).
The two men are ranked #1 and #2 by the WBA and have been given 30 days, from March 10th, to negotiate an agreement for the bout, or else a purse bid will be ordered. The two men also need to tell the WBA that they intend to pursue the bout in the next 5 days. If a fighter doesn't respond within that that time the WBA will follow their rules to decide what to do next.
Neither of the two men is that well known away from their local fans but both are worthy of discussing, at least a tiny bit.
Osawa is best known for his 2016 loss to Oscar Valdez in a WBA world title fight. Since then he has gone 6-1 and has maintained a high WBA ranking. The 28 year old Garcia on the other hand is best known for this 2019 win over Anvar Yunusov, but will be regarded as the man stepping up in class here. Prior to turning professional he had been a notable amateur winning silver medals at a number of regional competitions and fighting at the 2016 Olympics.
The winner of this would become the mandatory for popular Chinese world champion Can Xu (18-2, 3) [徐灿].
It's fair to say that 2019 was a monster year for Chinese fighter Can Xu (18-2, 3) [徐灿], the current WBA Featherweight champion. The hope is, of course, for him to have a massive 2020 as well.
Earlier this week it was reported that Xu and his team have had to change plans, in at least 2 different ways.
Firstly he and the M23 team had planned to train under Filipino coaches. The coaches returned home for the Chinese new year but due the escalating outbreak of Coronavirus they were unable to re-enter China. The Chinese fighters had then planned to go to the Philippines to train with the same coaches, however a travel ban by the Philippines prevented that from happening.
Instead of staying in China to train the team, or rather those with passports, have changed their plans and are now training in Thailand. Those that did travel included not only Xu but also Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (16-3-1, 6) [拜山波] and recent world title challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-4-1, 6) [乌兰].
It's not only been the training plans that have had to change but also plans regarding Xu's next title defense. It appears the original plan had been for a defense in China in April, however issues with Coronavirus appear to have ended that plan.
It's now unclear whether Xu will reschedule a bout in China for his next defense or will head back over to the US for it, with the bout said to be dependent on the development of the epidemic in China.
Given that there are various travels bans, it appears that Xu will be in Thailand until later in the month, waiting out a 14 day window. It then seems like the plans is form him to head off to the US to train in Miami, under Pedro Diaz, to further prepare for his next defense, when and where that takes place.
(Image courtesy of www.mppboxing.com/)
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