Chinese boxing star Xu Can defeats Jesus Rojas to win WBA featherweight title
Updated 20:15, 27-Jan-2019
Li Chenqi
01:02

24-year-old Xu Can (16-2-0, 2KOs) quenched the thirst for a world title by Chinese boxing fans by winning the WBA world featherweight title (117-111,116-112, 118-110) from Jesus Rojas (26-3-0, 19KOs) of Puerto Rico after 12 rounds by unanimous decision in Houston on Saturday.

In the 12-round bout, Xu landed repeated combinations on the 32-year-old veteran, who spent several rounds entirely defensive, and the challenger's determination and preparation ultimately paid off.

Xu's previous match – also his first in the U.S. – happened in last September and in it he conquered Enrique Bernache of Mexico after eight rounds by split decision, and the result that set up this title fight.

His performance against Rojas made him become only the third Chinese professional boxing world champion. The last two were Xiong Chaozhong and Zou Shiming, who gained belts respectively at the age of 30 in 2012 and 35 in 2016. Xu set a new record of becoming the youngest world champion in Chinese boxing history.

Jesus Rojas and Xu Can pose in the pre-match press conference, Houston, U.S., January 24, 2019. /VCG Photo

Jesus Rojas and Xu Can pose in the pre-match press conference, Houston, U.S., January 24, 2019. /VCG Photo

Rojas lost his last match to Joseph Diaz in the title's defending bout in August 2018, but the rival's overweight in the weigh-in helped him to keep the belt.

Inside the ring, Xu defended well in the toe-to-toe war and always remembered to hold down his chin. The Latin American even stopped twice to adjust for Xu's rhythm in Round 7, as well controversially slowed down and stayed beside the rope for most of the time in the last four rounds.

In the post-match interview, Xu said, “This is the second time that I come to the USA to fight. Before I came here, I knew it's a very hard fight, so I work hard for this fight, I do many many works. Thank you, everyone!” He used fluent English to express his feeling.

“I respect my opponent, Rojas, my friend. He's very tough, has stone punch. But before I come here, I do know I can win this fight. I'm CAN, I can!”

And when the host asked him where his big punches came from, Xu responded “China.”