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Xu Can vs Leigh Wood on July 31, live on DAZN

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‘Leigh-thal’ meets WBA Featherweight Champion on July 31 – Xu Can will defend his WBA Featherweight World Title against Leigh Wood on the first week of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday July 31, live worldwide on DAZN.

Can (18-2, 3 KOs), who is recognised by The Ring Magazine as the No.3 Featherweight in the world, won China’s first ever WBA World Title when he defeated Puerto Rico’s defending Champion Jesus Rojas with a unanimous decision at the Toyota Center, Houston, in January 2019.

At the age of 24 and 10 months, ‘Monster’ created history by becoming China’s youngest ever World Champion, and just the third from the country to win a World Title, with scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 118-110 over Rjoas, in what was his second appearance as a pro in the U.S.

He successfully defended his WBA crown at the first attempt by stopping Japan’s former Super-Bantamweight World Champion Shun Kubo in six rounds in his hometown of Fuzhou in May 2019. Can made the most of his hero’s welcome, flooring Kubo in round five before ending the contest in the next round.

Can’s all-action style was on full display in his next Title defence as he threw 1,562 punches on route to inflicting a first loss on Manny Robles III at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, impressively outworking and breaking down Robles over 12 rounds to earn a unanimous decision.

Nottingham’s Wood (24-2, 14 KOs) landed the vacant British Featherweight Title last time out at The SSE Arena, Wembley in February by stopping previously unbeaten Doncaster fighter Reece Mould with a brutal knockout in the ninth round.

Wood, who is trained by top coach Ben Davison, has only lost twice in his 26-fight career – a sixth round stoppage defeat when challenging Gavin McDonnell for the vacant British Super-Bantamweight Title in just his 12th pro fight and a narrow points loss to eventual MTK Golden contract winner Jazza Dickens last year.

“I have been idled nearly 20 months without a fight,” said Can. “In the past 5 months in Miami, my coach Pedro Diaz has worked me very hard. This is by far THE best preparation for my Title fights. I feel that I am in an excellent status, physically and mentally. In the next 3 weeks, my goal is to focus on the training and preparation. Leigh Wood is a tough opponent to face and he also has the privileges to fight at home. I must devote 200% of efforts to keep my Title. I can’t wait to see how I turn out on July 31.”

“Opportunities like this don’t always come around, I won’t need another,” said Wood. “I’m going to be World Champion. He’s very good volume puncher, if you let him fight his fight, you’re in for a hard night. I know what I have to do, and I will be exchanging on my terms.”

WOOD – GOLDEN BOY HAVE MADE A MISTAKE PICKING ME

Leigh Wood believes that Xu Can’s promoter Golden Boy have made a mistake by choosing him as their WBA Featherweight World Champion’s latest defence on the first week of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday July 31, live worldwide on DAZN.

Wood (24-2, 14 KOs), who is trained by Ben Davison alongside Undisputed Super-Lightweight World Champion Josh Taylor, landed the vacant British Featherweight Title last time out at The SSE Arena, Wembley in February by stopping previously unbeaten Doncaster fighter Reece Mould with a brutal knockout in the ninth round.

Can (18-2, 3 KOs), who is recognised by The Ring Magazine as the No.3 Featherweight in the world, won China’s first ever WBA World Title when he defeated Puerto Rico’s defending Champion Jesus Rojas with a unanimous decision at the Toyota Center, Houston, in January 2019.

‘Monster’ hasn’t boxed since he defended his World Title against Manny Robles III at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, way back in January 2019. Nottingham’s Wood believes that he possesses the power to ask Can serious questions as he aims to emulate Carl Froch by becoming the city’s second World Champion.

“When opportunity knocks you’ve got to be ready,” said Wood. “I’m always in the gym all year round keeping fit, staying on it and living the life. This opportunity has come up and I’ve grabbed it with both hands.

“I’m coming to win. I’m not just coming to fight for a World Title. I don’t want to be remembered as the kid that boxed for a World Title. I want to win the World Title. People can congratulate me on this fight after I win.

“I’ve proved that I’m way above domestic level and that my power is too much for these kids. It is a big jump from domestic level to World Title level but I’m confident in my ability and I’m confident in my power.

“Xu Can’s best attribute is his punch volume. He throws a lot of punches. He doesn’t take a good shot. When he gets clipped his head is all over the shop. He’s not boxed anyone that can dig like I can – in my opinion. I’m going to be giving him questions that he’s not answered before. I’m bringing a lot more than what he’s seen before.

“At the same time, he’s going to be doing the same to me. He’s going to be throwing a lot of shots at my head. I’m going to have to be smart and super fit. I’m excited about it and I’m going to rise to the challenge. I’m extremely confident.

“Ben (Davison) doesn’t get it wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get it wrong. You have to take away a fighter’s best attributes. Can’s best attribute is his volume. I think he’s got the record for the most punches thrown in 12 rounds. We have to take that away from him.

“I’m going to go out there and stick to the game plan, and I believe I’ll get the job done. I’m surprised that him and his team Golden Boy have specifically asked for me. Be careful what you wish for. They’ve made a mistake picking me.”

Can vs. Wood features on a huge night of action as Fight Camp returns with a bang, rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) puts his WBA Continental Title on the line against Adrian Grandos (21-8-3, 15 KOs), Tommy McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) and Chris Billam-Smith (12-1, 10 KOs) collide in a massive showdown for the European, British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight Titles, former World Title challenger Avni Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs) aims to bounce back from his loss to pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez when he takes on ‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ Jack Cullen (19-2-1, 9 KOs), Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (14-1, 11 KOs) promises to build on his huge third-round knockout win over Jorge Fortea, Manchester Lightweight Campbell Hatton (2-0) continues his young journey in the pro ranks against Jakub Laskowski (4-4-1, 2 KOs) and former amateur star Sandy Ryan makes her highly-anticipated professional debut at Super-Lightweight against Kirstie Bavington (3-1-2, 2 KOs).




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