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/)
Later today we'll Chinese "Monster" Can Xu (17-2, 3) [徐灿] defending his WBA Featherweight title for the second time, as he takes on the unbeaten Manny Robles III (18-0, 8).
The bout will be Xu's third bout in the US and will see him try to close out a brilliant yea, whilst Robles will be getting his first world title fight, in what looks like a very, very interesting match up on paper. The exciting Chinese warrior for the unbeaten American.
Interestingly the odds for this bout make Xu a clear favourite, with bookies pricing him at 4/11 to win the bout and retain his title. Robles is 5/2 to win and become the new champion. The draw on the other hand is 20/1.
The method of victory market here is an interesting one. Xu by decision is best priced at 6/5 whilst a stoppage by Xu is 5/2, Robles by decision is available at 15/4 and 8/1 to win by stoppage!
With neither man likely to score a stoppage the bout is 8/15 to go the distance and 7/4 to end early.
(All odds accurate at the time of writing)
Related - Xu returns to US to face unbeaten challenger Robles!
(Image courtesy of Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy)
Earlier today we were informed, from multiple sources, that contracts have been signed for Chinese fighter Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿] to face Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) for the WBA "regular" Featherweight title.
The 24 year old Chinese fighter, who made his US debut this past September, will be taking on his most notable opponent by far, and will be looking to extend his current 12 fight winning run, along with claiming his first world title.
Rojas on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Joseph "Jo Jo" Diaz, who despite beating Rojas didn't claim the WBA title due to failing to make weight for their August bout. The loss to Diaz was Rojas' first defeat since December 2008, when he lost to veteran Jose Angel Beranza in Las Vegas. Since then he has avenged that loss and scored notable wins over Abraham Lopez and Claudio Marrero.
According to the sources the bout will take place on January 26th in Texas and will be part of a Golden Boy promoted and the contract for the bout was signed on November 7th, giving both fighters plenty of time to prepare for what is a huge bout, especially for Xu and for Chinese boxing. A win for Xu would see him become the first Chinese fighter above 112lbs to win a world title, even if it is just the "regular" version, following in the footsteps of Xiong Zhao Zong and Zou Shiming, who have claimed world titles at Minimumweight and Flyweight respectively.
On Thursday night in the US fight fans had the chance to see Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿] make his US debut and take part in a really fun bout against Enrique Bernache (24-11, 12). Despite being exciting it was surprisingly competitive, with Bernache come close to upsetting the Chinese fighter in their 8 round contest.
The fight was a fantastic back and forth through the 8 rounds with Xu's extra bit of class just being the difference.
At the end of the bout Xu had done enough to take the split decision, with scores of 78-74 and 77-75 in his favour, against a dissenting judge who had Bernache winning 77-75. It was a bout that Xu deserved to win, just, but perhaps suggested he wasn't ready for a world title fight, just yet.
Originally the plan seemed to be that this would be one final stepping stone for Xu before fighting for a world title, but it now appears like his team will back off, just a little, and get him some more experience before a fight at the top level in 2019.
(Image courtesy of Sohu)
We are just a few hours away from seeing Can Xu (14-2, 2) [徐灿] make his US debut, in a bout against Mexican foe Enrique Bernache (24-10, 12). The bout hasn't had much interest from bookies though Polish betting website STS do have the bout, and have strongly favoured the Chinese fighter.
The in form Xu has been priced at 1.05, which is 1/20 using fractional odds and -2000 using the American system.
Bernache on the other hand is available at 6.25, which is 21/4 in the UK system and +525 in the US one.
Sadly the only market is the "To Win" one and sadly neither the US or UK bookies are taking bets on the contest.
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