Boxing in China has been on the growth in recent years, and we've seen regular shows in the country, though the talent on some of those cards has been rather mixed, with very few fighters truly standing out. Thankfully for the Chinese scene however one fighter managed to really make a statement in 2019, and was quite clearly the Revelation of the Year. That was Chinese Featherweight Can Xu, who really ended the year as a must watch fighter.
Can made his US debut in September 2018 and did little to impress, scraping an 8 round split decision over Mexican journeyman Enrique Bernache. A single round swing on Patracia Morse Jarman's card and there's a real chance that we wouldn't be talking about Xu today. As it though his fortune has paid off, and 2019 has seen him put that Bernache bout behind him in style.
In February Xu made a real statement statement, out fighting the hard hitting Jesus M Rojas to claim the WBA "regular" Featherweight title. The result was an upset win for Xu who has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Following his world title win Xu returned to China and scored his first defense in front of fans in his place of birth in a true home coming defense, against former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo. The fight, like his title win, was a hugely entertaining win and although Kubo was out of his depth Xu still put on a show, out working and then breaking down and stopping the Japanese challenger.
That would have been enough to have sealed Xu this award, but he wasn't done yet and in November he returned to a US ring to take on unbeaten American challenger Manny Robles III. This looked a tough test for the champion but turned out to be an easy win for Xu who totally dominated Robles, and set an incredibly pace, with punch numbers suggesting he had thrown over 1500 punches in the 12 round bout. What was supposed to be a tough second defense against an unbeaten challenger turned out to be little more than a showcase for Xu.
With 3 solid wins, 3 eye catching and exciting performances, a charming personality, Can Xu was clearly the break out fighter of 2019!
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