Xu Can will revisit past business as he aims to work his way back into title contention.
The former secondary WBA featherweight titlist will return to the ring and to the U.S. as he will next face Mexico’s Brandon Benitez. The two will collide atop the next ProBox TV card set for October 7 at ProBox Event Center in Plant City, Florida.
The fight made its way back to the schedule after the two were due to meet on May 20 at the same venue that hosted Jean Pascal’s twelve-round win over unbeaten Meng Fanlong in their light heavyweight clash.
Can (18-3, 3KOs) was forced to withdraw from the show after suffering an injury during training camp, delaying his awaited comeback. The 28-year-old human windmill from Beijing has not fought since suffering a twelfth-round stoppage loss to Nottingham’s Leigh Wood last July 31 on the road in Brentwood, Essex, UK.
The loss ended Can’s secondary WBA featherweight title reign, fittingly coming months after Josh Warrington suffered his lone career defeat earlier that year. The two were once on a collision course, with then-unbeaten Warrington vacating his IBF title in lieu of an undesirable but ordered rematch with mandatory challenger Kid Galahad. The Leeds native wound up suffering a stoppage loss to Mauricio ‘Bronco’ Lara, while Can’s own career was delayed after previously testing positive for Covid.
Benitez (18-2, 7KOs) steps up in class but also enters the ring at the hottest point of his career.
The 24-year-old from Queretaro, Mexico has won his last four bouts, including an impressive eight-round, unanimous decision win over Anthony Chavez last December 17 in Ontario, California. The win was the first in the U.S. for Benitez, whose lone other stateside appearance saw him suffer an eighth-round stoppage to then-unbeaten Saul Sanchez in May 2019.
Can’s last win came in a twelve-round decision victory over then-unbeaten Manny Robles III in November 2019, his third victory of the year. He claimed the WBA ‘World’ (‘Regular’) featherweight title in a twelve-round, unanimous decision over Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas in January 2019, with their Fight of the Year candidate seeing both fighters combine to throw nearly 1,600 punches.
Can then returned home to his birth town of Fuzhou, China for a May 2019 sixth-round knockout of Shun Kubo. His follow-up win over Robles saw Can throw an absurd 1,562 punches, establishing the featherweight record according to CompuBox and also the sixth-most punches thrown in any weight division according to the punch-tracking service.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox