China’s Xu dominates Robles to defend WBA featherweight title

Source:Agencies Published: 2019/11/24 18:38:42

China's Xu Can (right) fights American Manny Robles III during a World Boxing Association featherweight title bout on Saturday in Indio, California. Photo: Courtesy of M23 Boxing Club

China's Xu Can retained his World Boxing Association featherweight title with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Manny Robles III in ­Indio, California on Saturday.

Xu lived up to his "Monster" nickname, pummeling Robles in an action-packed bout to take the decision by the wide margins of 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 on the scorecards.

Xu improved to 18-2 with three knockouts, capping a year that saw him claim the lesser of the WBA's two world titles at featherweight with an upset of Puerto Rico's Jesus Rojas in Houston in January - a ­victory that announced him on the world stage.

He successfully defended the title at the first attempt when he stopped former champion Shun Kubo of Japan in six rounds in Fuzhou, East China's Jiangxi Province in May.

The 25-year-old is just the third Chinese boxer in ­history to have won a world title, after minimumweight Xiong Chaozhong and flyweight Zou Shiming.

He could find himself in the mix for the more elite version of the crown - the WBA's "super" world title - since the holder of that belt, Leo Santa Cruz, stepped up in weight to claim the vacant WBA super featherweight "super" title with a unanimous decision over Miguel Michoacan in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Xu fans made their presence felt with Chinese flags and banners at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, and their fighter gave them what they came for.

Robles fell to 18-1 with eight wins inside the distance.

"We trained very hard in the camp, three months for the fight," said Xu Can afterward. "We wanted to show everybody in the world."

When asked whom he ­wanted to fight next, Xu replied, "Josh [Harrington]! You coming out? Now I'm here. You see I'm here, right? Let's fight. Let's unify."

And he said he could fight "anywhere." "I can fight anywhere. I promise I will bring the belt back home to China."

Posted in: BOXING

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