By Carlos Costa
Xu Can -- the reigning world champion from emerging boxing powerhouse, China -- will defend for the first time his WBA "regular" featherweight world strap against hard-hitting former world title challenger Shun Kubo of Kobe, Japan, this coming May 26 in the historic "Good Luck" Chinese Coastal City of Fuzhou in Southeast China.
The announcement was done by fight promoter Liu Gang during a press conference in China attended by the two 5' 9" fighters who faced off serious but friendly towards each other during the plush media event organized by Max Power Promotions.
The show's main star, soft-spoken 25-year-old Can (16-2, 2 KO's) from the Spring City of Kunming in Southwestern China, claimed his WBA 126-pound world title by surprising, outclassing and dethroning hard-hitting Puerto Rican titlist Jesus Rojas (26-3-2, 19 KO's) in January at the Toyota Center in Houston, and his first title defense is just around the corner.
For his battle against his WBA # 10 Nippon challenger Kubo, Can has been training at Liu Gang's M 23 Boxing Gym in Beijing with his preferred sparring partner 22-year-old Filipino lightweight Joepher Montaño (10-4-2, 9 KO's), a young fighter who comes from an impressive come-from-behind spectacular ABF title win just weeks ago in Bacolod, Philippines.
Montaño as sparring is a smart choice for Xu Can's team as the Filipino is of the same southpaw stance, same height same power punching approach as Shun Kubo. Xu Can is no way near being a devastating hard-puncher so polishing his boxing skills is a must. In contrast, Shu Kubo is a man with proven power in his hands.
Therefore, in theory, the title match could unfold as the classic engagement of the good tactical boxer vs the coming forward knockout warrior. Exciting. Who will emerge victorious?
"Yes indeed, an intriguing battle. Our world champion Xu Can defend against Japanese striker Shun Kubo (13-1, 9 KO's) here in China," assures veteran man of boxing Liu Gang, China's top promoter.
"In addition, WBA world champion Cañizales will defend against former world champ Sho Kimura. You should remember that Sho Kimura was the man who terrorized and ended the career of former Top Rank's Golden Cow Zou Shiming before? Will Sho Kimura stop Cañizales too? I think May 26 will give fans an exciting show of good boxing," thinks Liu.
Sure thing, Liu Gang's co-main event features unbeaten Venezuelan brawler, mean striker Carlos Canizales (21-0-1, 17 KO's) defending for the second time his WBA 108-pound World Belt against the above mentioned Japanese star Sho Kimura (18-2-2, 11 KO's) of Tokyo.
However, boxing fans here in Asia are surprised in seeing the 30-year-old Sho Kimura coming back down to 108-pounds because during the last 3 years the awesome samurai warrior has competed exclusively at 112 lbs.
Four pounds at that weight class might be tough to do, especially, when Kimura has grown older and hasn't come down to eight stones in years.
Will the terror of Zou Shiming somehow manage to dominate that further reduction in weight to be strong, fast, and devastating against an aggressive powerful warrior as Carlos Cañizales, the same unbeaten Venezuelan natural 108-pound destroyer who ravaged, ended and sent to hospital his last challenger unheralded Chinese Lu Bin last July in Malaysia?
BoxingScene.com was in ringside in Kuala Lumpur during the Cañizales vs Lu Bin battle. The 12th round was a severe merciless beating dished out by the mean-puncher Venezuelan titlist.
In fact, Cañizales has performed exceedingly well in all his world title fights in Asia.
The author Carlos Costa is a Panama boxingscene.com reporter living in the Philippines. Carlos can be reached at [email protected] and whatsapp/viber/wechat: +639184538152.