Chinese boxer Xu Can failed to defend his WBA featherweight title for the third time.
LONDON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese boxer Xu Can failed to defend his WBA featherweight title for the third time as the 27-year-old was TKO in the last round by British champion Leigh Wood in Brentwood, England on Saturday.
Xu fought for the first time in 20 months after arriving in Britain from the United States on Monday. He struggled to find chances to attack and was knocked onto the floor by Wood in the 12th round.
Xu found his feet soon and tried to resume the fight, but the referee suspended the match with 12 seconds to go while Xu suffered again in front of the heavy punches from Wood.
"I didn't fight well, no other excuse," said Xu. "It's tough that I haven't fought for 20 months, but I don't think it has anything to do with my defeat today."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Xu hasn't fought since defending his title for the second time in November 2019. He previously set up a clash with American fighter Emilio Sanchez in June in Los Angeles, but the match fell through due to broadcasting issues.
"I stayed in the United States for half a year. Now I just want to go home and have a good rest. I'm extremely tired," said Xu.
In January 2019, Xu won the WBA title by defeating reigning champion Jesus Rojas of Puerto Rico with a unanimous decision in Houston, the United States. Then he achieved two successful defenses of the title later the same year.