Leigh Wood sensationally stops Xu Can in 12th round to win WBA featherweight title | Boxing News

Leigh Wood sensationally stopped Xu Can in the 12th round to become the new WBA featherweight champion.

The Nottingham man sent Can crashing to the canvas with a big right hand and then completed a stunning victory over his Chinese opponent to become Britain’s newest world champion.

In the early rounds, Wood took the centre of the ring, countering Can with a stiff jab and crisp right hands.

Blood dripped from the nose of Can after he was caught by a jolting uppercut in the sixth, while Wood unloaded a crunching combination in the eighth.

Leigh Wood
Wood’s superior power gave him the edge from the early rounds

Into the closing rounds, Wood forced Can onto the back foot with hurtful shots to head and body.

A right hand toppled Can to the canvas in the 12th, and Wood followed up with a ferocious attack to force the intervention of referee Marcus McDonnell.

On the undercard, Chris Billam-Smith edged out Tommy McCarthy on a split decision to claim the European, British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles.

Billam-Smith fought with more urgency after the halfway stage, troubling McCarthy with a left hook in the eighth, and both men traded fierce shots at close quarters in the 12th.

Chris Billam-Smith
Chris Billam-Smith defeated Tommy McCarthy by split decision

McCarthy earned a score of 115-114, but the other two judges favoured Billam-Smith with tallies of 115-114 and 116-112.

Earlier in the evening, Campbell Hatton completed a shutout points verdict over Jakub Laskowski to bring up his third professional victory.

Campbell Hatton
Campbell Hatton extended his unbeaten record to three victories

The 20-year-old, son of former world champion Ricky Hatton, troubled his Polish opponent with relentless pressure to earn a 40-36 verdict after four rounds.

Anthony Fowler also broke the spirited resistance of Germany’s Rico Mueller with an eighth-round stoppage win.

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