Facts you need to know about ‘Leigh-thal’ Wood’s next opponent
British featherweight champion Leigh Wood (24-2, 14KOs) challenges WBA World featherweight champion Xu Can (18-2, 3KOs) on July 31 at the Matchroom Boxing HQ in Brentwood Essex.
The 147-pounders are headlining ‘Week One’ of the hugely successful ‘Fight Camp’ series for the second summer in a row.
Not much is known about the Aisan champion, so BBN found out some little-known facts right here:
Born March 9, 1994, Xu Can is currently 27-years-old. He was born in Hebei in Fuzhou, south east China and raised in the Jiangxi province. His parents were pastry makers, and was encouraged by his father to pursue a career in boxing, leading him to drop out of high school in his third year. The family left Jiangxi for the major city of Kunming when he was 14.
He now resides in Beijing.
He joined China’s only professional boxing club at the time, Zhongwei, in Kunming, Yunnan. He had a successful but limited amateur career, turning pro early, aged 18.
He shares the same nickname with Naoya Inoue – ‘Monster’. The meaning behind the nickname differs somewhat, as Inoue earned his moniker through his freakish power, whereas Can's was awarded for his incredible stamina and output.
Can is trained by Pedro Luis Diaz, who was a long-term trainer of the Cuban natiional team. In his time, he has trained Miguel Cotto and Guillermo Rigondeaux, amongst many others.
He is promoted by Liu Gang (Max Power Promotions) and Oscar De Le Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions).
His 21 opponents, including Wood, have a combined record of 308-85-19.
He has won against three former or current world champions – Nehomar Cermeno; Jesus M Rojas; Shun Kubo.
Xu Can became China's only ever third world champion in January 2019, joining legends Xiao Chaozhong and Zou Shiming. However, Xu went one better by becoming the youbgest ever world champion from China.
Can Xu emblazoned his name into the history books by toppling reigning world champion Jesus M Rojas on January 26, 2018. The fight was notable for its high activity with both men throwing over 1200 punches each on the night! Can dedicated his win to the 'Kingdom', declaring: "My power is from China. It was for my country."
Despite the World Boxing Association's bad reputation with boxing fans right now, the belt is steeped in prestige having first been held by legendary Cuban Sugar Ramos in 1963 and also been wrapped around the waist of many of boxing's all-time greats, such as Alexi Arguello; Eusebiuo Pedraza, who defended the belt 20 times before conceding it to Briton Barry McGuigan in 1985; more recent champions have been Wilfredo Vazquez and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
The Ring #3
Height: 5’ 9”
Wins by KO: 3
Losses by KO: 3
No Contests: 0
WBA Oceania super-lightweight title
WBA Oceania super-featherweight title
WBA International super-featherweight title
WBA International featherweight title
WBA World featherweight title
Can's fight with Wood will be the fifth country he has fought in, having travelled to America on three occasions, to Australia to win the WBA Oceania strap, and he also appeared in neighbouring Japan in his second pro contest in 2014.