Wood wins WBA World Feather Title Stopping Can “Monster” Xu!

By Boxing News - 08/01/2021 - Comments

By Ken Hissner: At the Matchroom Fight Camp, Brentwood, Essex, UK, Saturday, over DAZN, Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing) presented in the Main Event WBA World Featherweight champion Can “Monster” Xu was stopped by No. 12 ranked Leigh “Leigh-Thal” Wood in the twelfth and final round. 

In the Main Event WBA World Featherweight champion Can ”Monster” Xu, 18-3 (3), #125.2, of Beijing, China, lost to British champion Leigh “Leigh-Thal” Wood, 25-2 (15), #125.3, of Geding, Nottinghamshire, UK, at 2:43 of the 12th round.

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In the first four rounds Wood worked the body well while Xu may have landed more but not as effective. In the sixth round referee Marcus McDonnell finally warned Wood for holding his left hand on the head of Xu. Wood still worked the body well.

It was a big eighth round for Wood landing combinations to body and head of Xu. In the ninth and tenth rounds Xu out of a peek-a-boo style cannot stop the body attack of Wood who is outworking him. In the twelfth and final round with 0:44 seconds left in the fight Wood dropped Xu for an 8-count with a right off a jab on the chin. Upon getting up Xu was swarmed over by Wood who was defenseless on the ropes before the referee wisely called a halt. This writer had it 107-102 after eleven rounds.

“I was told there was no way I could win by points. He was tough and I knew I had to finish him in that final round,” said Wood.  

EBU Cruiserweight champion “The Mack Attack” Tommy McCarthy, 18-3 (9), #199.25, of Belfast, No. Ireland, lost by split decision to “The Gentleman” Chris Billam-Smith, 13-1 (10), #199.3, of Bournemouth, Dorset, UK, over 12 rounds, for EBU, Commonwealth (British Empire), vacant BBBofc British titles.

In the first four rounds it was even. In the fifth round Billiam-Smith hurt McCarthy with a body shot. In the seventh round McCarthy got a cut on his left eyebrow from a clash of heads. In the eleventh and twelfth rounds Billiam-Smith pulled it out.  

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Scores were 115-114 McCarthy, 115-114 and 116-112 Billiam-Smith with this writer 115-113 for the winner. Referee Ian John-Lewis 

WBA Super Welterweight champion Anthony “The Machine” Fowler, 15-1 (12), #155.25, of Liverpool, UK, stopped Rico “Pretty Boy” Mueller, 28-4-1 (19), #156, of Eberswalde, Brandenburg, GER, at 2:12 in the eighth round of a scheduled 10 rounds.

In the first four rounds Fowler dominated Mueller with rights off the jab to the chin. In the fifth round Fowler’s jab controlled whereas Mueller had none but a decent left hook. In the sixth round Fowler drew blood from the nose of Mueller in the final minute also having swelling under the eyes of Mueller.

In the eighth round Fowler landed two dozen punches before Mueller returned one. Fowler had Mueller out on his feet before referee Bob Williams finally called a halt. 

“He’s a good fighter and I needed the rounds,” said Fowler. “Liam “Beefy” Smith is next for Anthony Fowler in October. He’s asked for Cheeseman and even a rematch with (Scott) Fitzgerald (lost a SD in 2019).

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Super Middleweight Avni “Mr. Robot” Yildirm, 21-4 (12), #163, of Istanbul, TURKEY, lost to Jack “Little Lever Big Cleaver” Cullen, 20-2-1 (9), #163.5, Little Lever, Bolton,  UK, 10 rounds for the vacant IBF International title.

In the first two rounds the taller Cullen used an effective jab and rocked Yildirm on several occasions with combinations on the chin. In the fifth round Yildirm started landing an overhand right to the head of Cullen. In the sixth round Cullen seemed to get his second wind outworking Yildirm. 

In the first minute of the eighth round Yildirm bloodied the nose of Cullen. With a minute left in the round Cullen rocked Yildirm with a right uppercut to the chin. In the ninth round referee Marcus McDonnell warned Yildirm for a final time about hitting behind the head. He’s warned Yildirm throughout for infractions. In the tenth and final round Cullen finished well. Yildirm had problems the entire fight getting past Cullen’s jab.

Scores were 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93 as did this writer have it.

Lightweight Campbell “The Hurricane” Hatton, 3-0 (0), #135.6, of Manchester, UK, won over Jakub Laskowski, 4-5-1 (2), #135.5, of Siemianowice, Poland, over 4 rounds.

In all four rounds Hatton (son of former 2-division champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton) landed punches in bunches as Laskowski switched back and forth orthodox to southpaw. His uncle former EBU champion Matthew “Majic” Hatton is his trainer.


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Score 40-36 by referee Mark Bates as well as this writer.

Super Lightweight Sandy Ryan, 1-0 (0), #144.5, of Derby, Derbyshire, UK, defeated Kirstie Bavington, 3-2-2 (2), #144.25, of Pensnett, West Midland, UK, over 6 rounds.

Score 60-54 per referee Mark Bates.

Ring announcer David Diamante.