Can Xu: “While Warrington lost and the belt has gone, I am still willing to fight against him.” China’s WBA featherweight champion held talks about a title defence against the Leeds fighter this year.
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 19/02/21 4:28pm
Can Xu is ‘still willing’ to defend his WBA title against Josh Warrington in the future, despite his British rival’s stunning knockout loss to Mauricio Lara.
Warrington’s plans for a potential clash with Xu were left in disarray after the Leeds featherweight lost his unbeaten record as he was floored twice in a shock ninth-round defeat to Lara last weekend.
But China’s world champion has retained his respect for Warrington, who had been recognised as the No 1 fighter in the division.
“I’m not shocked that it happened, because there are always lots of upsets in professional boxing,” Can told Sky Sports.
“But it also reminds me that I should pay more attention to my training.
“Boxing is about confrontation and performance. No one can predict the result.
“Josh is an excellent champion. If I were his opponent, I would not be 100 per cent sure that I could defeat him by the same way like Lara did.”
Warrington had vacated his IBF belt in a bid to speed up negotiations for a major fight later in the year against high-class champions such was Xu, Gary Russell Jr and Emanuel Navarrete.
But the 30-year-old now wants to avenge his loss in an immediate rematch with Lara, while Xu is focusing on his next title defence, with an opponent to be confirmed.
“Before that, we both made a lot of efforts for the unification bout,” said Xu.
“While Warrington lost and the belt has gone, I am still willing to fight against him.
“I don’t care who is the next opponent. I can fight against anyone.
“Rather than worrying about the adversary, I would like to focus on my training and what happens in the ring.
“As for other things, I am at ease to let Golden Boy Promotions and Max Power Promotions to handle.”
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