Leigh Wood produces masterclass as he stops Can Xu in final round to become world champion

leigh-wood-champion-fight-camp-matchroom-ftr Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Leigh Wood upset the odds to stop Can Xu in the final round following a brilliant boxing display where he hardly put a foot wrong. After only competing at British level throughout his career, Wood was thought to be up against it versus Xu but it was clear from the opening bell that he belonged on the big stage. 

In the opening stanzas, Wood used his jab brilliantly as he prevented Xu from getting into any sort of rhythm. Whenever the Chinese fighter did let his hands go, Wood matched his output and it was the Nottingham fighter who was always getting the last word. 

As the fight entered the cliched championship rounds, Xu tried to put his foot down as he felt his crown slipping but he would pay for that approach in a memorable last session. A superb right hand dropped Xu and after rising to his feet, Wood wasted no time in forcing the stoppage. 

“I want the biggest fight possible,” said Wood afterwards. “I want to test myself. I said last year that there's three things I want to do and that’s win the British title, win the world title, and those boxes are ticked. The only thing left to do is to be the first person to headline at the City Ground.” 

For a full recap of all tonight's action, please read below.


Wood stops Xu to become world champion

Stunning finish from Leigh Wood as a brilliant onslaught in the final session sees him defy the odds to become world champion. 

Xu vs, Wood Round 11

It's Wood's fight to lose. He dominates round 11 with a number of great shots. 10-9 Wood. 

Xu vs. Wood Round 10

Wood finishes well to take what had previously been a close round. There's two rounds to go. Can Wood stay in front? 10-9 Wood.

Xu vs. Wood Round Nine

A close round that Xu shades. Nothing in it for large portions but a busy finish from Xu gives him the edge. 10-9 Xu. 

Xu vs. Wood Round Eight

Wood is starting to enjoy himself as he switches stance and claims success. Xu can't put two good rounds together as the man from Nottingham stays in front. 10-9 Wood. 

Xu vs. Wood Round Seven

A quieter round from Wood, which allows Xu to edge it. Xu is a little busier but he needs more rounds like this one. 10-9 Xu.

Xu vs. Wood Round Six

Wood using a wide variety of shots in this round. Xu is walking forward but he's also walking into shots. We're only at the halfway mark but Wood can be satisfied so far. 10-9 Wood. 

Xu vs. Wood Round Five

Xu's best round. Wood finished well but Xu landed several decent shots in the middle stages. 10-9 Xu.

Xu vs. Wood Round Four

What do you prefer? The volume of Xu or the accuracy? It's the latter for me as Wood continues to land the better shots. 10-9 Wood. 

Xu vs. Wood Round Three

A better round from the champion as he finally manages to let his hands go. Wood still scores well with some eye-catching shots but Xu is the fighter who wins the round. 10-9 Xu.

Xu vs. Wood Round Two

Xu's famed relentlessness has been absent so far. Another good round from Wood. Not all his shots are landing but he's the fighter who's controlling the action. Wood, and his team, will be delighted with this start. 10-9 Wood.

Xu vs. Wood Round One

A solid start by Wood who scores well with his jab. Any work from Xu has been dealt with brilliantly from Wood. 10-9 Wood

Billam-Smith edges McCarthy in tough encounter
Chris Billam-Smith and Tommy McCarthy gave their all in a gruelling fight and it was the former who got the nod via split decision. McCarthy started and ended the fight impressively but his low output inbetween cost him the decision. Both fighters received a scorecard of 115-114, but a 116-112 verdict for Billam-Smith was enough to crown him British, Commonwealth and European champion.

Hatton gets win number three against Laskowski

Campbell Hatton made it three wins from as many fights with an aggressive performance against Jakub Laskowski. Hatton is still learning and the rounds he's currently banking will benefit him more than early stoppages as he clearly needs experience. Hatton's industry gets him the nod as he takes a 40-36 verdict on the referee's scorecard. 

Fowler stops brave Mueller

Anthony Fowler was made to work hard for victory as he registered an eighth round stoppage over Rico Mueller. The German had plenty of ambition at the start of the fight but Fowler was always landing the heavy shots and the pressue finally told. Is it Liam Smith next for Fowler?

Cullen earns career best win as he dominates Yildirim

Avni Yildirim shared a ring with Canelo Alvarez earlier this year. He was well below that level tonight but he still couldn't find a way to win as he was outboxed, and outfought, by Jack Cullen. The man from Little Leaver was in control from the first bell as he used his long jab to set up further attacks. Yildirim was headhunting but he can have no complaints about the final scorecards that read 100-90, 98-92, and 97-93 in favor of Cullen. 

Sandy Ryan makes a winning start

Sandy Ryan's professional debut was a successful one as she outpointed a game Kirstie Bavington. Ryan, a former star amateur, was in control throughout and that was reflected on the scorecards as she emerged from the contest a 60-54 winner. 

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