Can Xu vs Leigh Wood Preview July 31st, 2021
WBA Featherweight Champion Can Xu (Xu Can) of China will be defending his belt against Leigh Wood of Nottingham, England in Brentwood, England this Saturday, July 31st. The 12 round bout can be seen live in most nations on DAZN. Xu last fought in November, 2019 when he beat Many Robles III by unanimous decision. Wood last saw action in February when he stopped Reece Mould in the ninth round to win the vacant British Featherweight Title.
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Xu vs Wood Betting Odds
- Leigh Wood +275
- Can Xu -375
The baby-faced Can Xu hails from Suzhou, China and fights out of Beijing. He’s now 27 years of age and carries around a record of 18-2 with just 3 Kos. Although he’s nicknamed ‘Monster,’ it’s quite obvious he isn’t a power puncher with a current knockout ratio of just 15 per cent. He has 166 rounds of experience under his belt since turning pro in 2013 as a 19-year-old.
Xu stands 5-feet-9-inches tall with a wingspan of 69 inches. His first loss came in June, 2014 when he dropped a four-round split decision to Neeraj Goyat in his third pro bout. He lost again by a six-round majority decision to Bao Dong just three months and two fights later. Xu was 3-2 at that point of his career, but has now reeled off 15 consecutive wins.
He has wins over the likes of Josh Baillie, Hurricane Futa, Kris George, Chaiyong Sithsaithong, Isaias Santos Sampaio, Corey McConnell, Ramiro Blanco, Spicy Matsushita, Jack Asis, Nehomar Cermeno, Jelbirt Gomera, Shun Kubo and Robles. Along the way he’s won the WBA Oceania Super Lightweight Title as well as the WBA Oceania, and WBA International Super Featherweight Titles and the WBA International Featherweight Crown.
Xu’s a tough boxer with a solid chin. He has fast, accurate hands and has fought all the way up to 140 lb. division earlier in his career. He won the World Title in January, 2019 when he beat Jesus Rojas by unanimous decision and has defended it against Kubo and Robles. He has an entertaining style even without power but has been out of action close to two years now.
The 32-year-old Wood enters the ring with a record of 24-2 with 14 Kos. He made his pro debut in 2011 after a good amateur career and has boxed 120 rounds since. He’s captured the British, British Midlands, Commonwealth Boxing Council, and WBO European Featherweight Titles along the way. His first loss was a a sixth-round TKO at the hands of Gavin McDonnell in 2015 for the vacant British Super Bantamweight title.
Wood’s second defeat came at the hands of James Dickens for the WBO European Featherweight Title in February, 2020 via a 10-round majority decision. His biggest wins have been against the likes of Isaac Owusu, Josh Gale, Lee Glover, Ryan Doyle, David Joyce and Mould. Wood has decent power with a current knockout ratio of 54 per cent. However, 14 of his 26 opponents have had losing records.
Unfortunately, there’s no height and reach information for Wood so we don’t know how he stacks up against Xu when it comes to size. However, we do know he has possesses more power than the champion but his chin isn’t as solid. He has been active recently though and won’t have the ring rust that Xu will need to shake off.
Xu has fine boxing skills and is fan friendly and the same can be said of Wood. However, Wood lacks experience against upper echelon boxers. This should be an interesting tilt and Xu’s lack of power means he really needs to dominate on the judge’s scorecards which is almost impossible to do these days for boxers visiting the UK. Also, referees there have a habit of prematurely stopping fights when home-grown boxers have their man in the slightest bit of trouble. This means Xu needs to stay focused and throw as many punches as possible to make sure the outcome isn’t in doubt. He’s the better boxer overall and should be able to pull it off.
An interesting bout, but Xu should retain the belt.
Play: Xu -375 @ BetOnline.ag
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