Matchroom Fight Camp Results: Leigh Wood, Cullen, Fowler & Campbell victorious
By Barry Holbrook: Promoter Eddie Hearn was over the moon on Saturday night with the wins by Leigh Wood, Anthony Fowler, Jack Cullen, and Campbell Hatton at the Matchroom HQ in Brentwood, Essex.
Wood (25-2, 15 KOs) picked up the win of the night with a 12th round technical knockout of WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champion Xu Can (18-3, 3 KOs).
From start to finish, That was all Wood used size, power, and ring IQ to dominate the quicker Xu. Wood took away Xu’s high-volume punch attack by keeping him at range and clinching when he got close.
The way Wood fights, he could have likely beaten Xu even if he let him get his shots off the way he normally does.
Wood’s punching power and boxing skills were on another level to Xu, who was always guessing what angle he would be getting hit with.
The way Wood mixed up his shots, throwing uppercuts, jabs, hooks, straight shots, was too much for Xu. Towards the end of the fight, Wood turned southpaw and showboated by feigning bolo punches.
Thankfully, Wood didn’t go overboard with the showboating. One could tell that he respected Xu, and he wasn’t going to try and shame him.
In the 12th round, Wood knocked Xu down with a right hand. He then finished him after he got back to his feet. The time of the stoppage was at 2:43.
Hearn reacts to Leigh Wood’s win over Xu Can
“It was a brilliant atmosphere; people loved it,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing after tonight’s DAZN card. “The show was great, the production was great, and it was a great way to kick off the new partnership with DAZN.
“It was a cinderella story from Leigh Wood becoming world featherweight champion and a couple of great fights on the card as well. I felt he [Wood] had a good chance. [Trainer] Ben Davison has done a great job with him, and we know he can punch.
“He absolutely schooled Xu Can. I don’t know what some people were watching or how they were scoring it. I struggled to give him Can Xu more than three rounds, and not only did he school him, but he stopped him.
“To get him out of there was a real statement. He’s [Wood] announced himself on the featherweight division, which is buzzing domestically.
“On the world level next week, we’ve got Jazza Dickens against Kid Galahad for the IBF world title. Possibly,” Hearn said when asked if it’s possible for Wood to face the winner of the Dickens vs. Galahad next.
“We were a voluntary defense. Golden Boy has a rematch clause in place [for Xu Can].
“I can’t see him taking it because he wasn’t in the fight in my opinion, but they’ll look at it and say, ‘Inactivity was the cause of that.’ But I’m not so sure.
“I think it was the snazziness, the footwork, and the power of Leigh Wood tonight that won him the fight,” said Hearn.
Xu didn’t know what to do in there, and he never even turned on his offense. He was mostly in a shell, covering up and trying not to get hit by Wood.
Billiam-Smith, Fowler & Campbell Hatton win
“I thought it was a very close fight. I felt that Chris Billiam-Smith nicked the fight,” said Hearn about Billiam-Smith’s fight with Tommy McCarthy.
“Some people had him edging it. Some people had McCarthy edging it. I didn’t agree with 116-112, but what I did agree with people’s opinions that it was a fantastic fight.
“I’d love to do it again. I don’t see why we shouldn’t do it again. People would love to see it. A very hard-fought grueling fight. They both deserve a lot of credit for taking that fight in the first place. We want to see more of that.
“A good performance,” said Hearn about Campbell Hatton. “He fought a capable guy that was 4-4.
“He’s much more composed now, he’s looking like he’s got more snap in his punches, and he’s getting more rounds under his belt. I think he’s still a baby.
“I don’t mean that disrespectfully. He didn’t have an amateur pedigree. He’s still learning. We’re giving him all the best experiences as a professional, and there’s plenty more to come. He’s going to mold into a really good fighter.
“Rico Mueller let his hands go, and he was really dangerous, and I thought he did really good,” Hearn said about Mueller giving junior middleweight Anthony Fowler a good test before bowing out in the eighth round.
“The first thing I ask when we have another fight planned is, ‘Are your hands OK?’ You check for any cuts.
“He’s fine; he’s in great condition. We announced what a cracker, Liam Smith vs. Anthony Fowler. I don’t mind sounding cheezy, but I love Liverpool, and I love big fight nights in Liverpool.
“It’s a massive step up for Anthony Fowler. He’s 30-years-old. This was the perfect fight for him tonight in which he banked rounds [against Mueller]. It’s time to roll the dice.
“He believes he can beat Liam Smith; Shane believes he can beat Liam Smith. You saw Liam Smith’s reaction. Knife through butter, he thinks he’s going to go through Anthony Fowler.
“It’s a great fight for Liverpool; they’re going to fill up the Echo. It’s a great fight for DAZN, and it’s a great tight for both guys.
“Let’s do it, and these are the fights that we want to see. October the 9th at the M & S Arena, which is formerly known as the Echo Arena.
“We’re going to have a great night, a huge card, and I can’t wait until we get back in Liverpool,” said Hearn.
Jack Cullen defeats Avni Yildirim
“Amazing, I love Jack Cullen,” said Hearn about Cullen’s win over Avni Yildirim. “He never turns a fight down. Avni Yildirim owed a fight to us.
“Fair play to him. Amet Oner, they accepted a fight against a Brit. Jack Cullen, they felt they could beat him, and they should have beaten him on paper, but Jack Cullen boxed really well.
“He boxed at range, mixed it up on the inside as well. He won the fight comfortably. Where he sits, he probably moves into the top 15 in the world, particularly with the IBF, which was for the belt.
“What a future he’s got. I love that and I love guys like Leigh Wood. They changed their lives tonight,” said Hearn.
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