China’s Xu dominates Robles to defend WBA featherweight title
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, pummelling 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 in May.
The 25-year-old is just the third Chinese boxer in history to have won a world title, after minimumweight Xiong Zhaozhong 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.
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