Leigh Wood is ready to become a full world champion
On July 31, featherweight Leigh “Leigh-thal” Wood (24-2, 14 KO’s) will shoot to capture a new belt. He will attempt this feat against Chinese Regular WBA World featherweight champion Can “Monster” Xu (18-2, 3 KO’s).The two will collide in the unlikely main event of a DAZN telecast. The fight is unlikely because it’s one that Wood was not expecting to get. This is because Leigh-thal is only one bout removed from his February 21, 2020 loss to James Dickens.
With that stinging defeat so recent, Wood believed it would take a bit more scraping and clawing to get back to the top. Over the course of his career, Wood has captured a number of European level titles. He has owned the Commonwealth featherweight, WBO European featherweight and BBB of C featherweight titles. The question now becomes: can he take those winning ways overseas to snag the WBA Regular title?
Like any confident fighter would, Wood, who is ranked #12 (WBA) and #13 (IBF), informed DAZN that he’s sure that he has what it takes to win.
“It’s not a fight I was expecting but it’s one I’m ready for. Although the fight was only announced a few days ago, I’ve been ready for about six weeks and I know that’s enough time to get me to where I want to be to take on a fighter like Can Xu… The losses to McDonnell and Dickens hurt but I’ve refused to give up and here I am now. It’s so hard not to look ahead because I’ve dreamed about the biggest fights on the biggest stages, but for now it’s all on Can Xu.”
A NEW SENSEI
Aside from his self-belief and lessons learned in his career, Wood is further emboldened by his chief second, Ben Davidson. Following his second professional loss to James Dickens, Leigh-thal knew he needed a change. This is when the winds of fortune blew him into Davidson’s direction. After being attracted to something about Wood’s fighting character, the high profile former trainer of Tyson Fury agreed to team up. According to Wood, this collaboration will pay great dividends.
“He’s a fighter who carries himself well but there’s plenty of opportunities to exploit him and that’s what I’ve been working on with Ben [Davison]. Ben’s one of the best trainers in the country and the work that we’ve done together preparing for this fight is going to give me the best possible chance to become world champion.”
Only time will tell if Wood can dethrone Can Xu and rise to new professional heights. Yet, whether he can or cannot achieve his lofty goals, 3kingsboxing will be there to report the story.
By: Bakari Simpson