Leigh Wood celebrates as confusion reigns over featherweight “title” status


August 2nd, 2021

Leigh Wood Featherweight

Ian Walton

Within the twelfth and last spherical of his conflict in Eddie Hearn’s mansion, Leigh Wooden stopped Xu Can and obtained instantly celebrated as the brand new WBA featherweight champion.

Taking the “regular” belt, the secondary model of the strap, Wooden might not get the popularity his promoters really feel he deserves.

Leo Santa Cruz is the WBA “Tremendous” featherweight champion on the official web site of the “sanctioning physique.”

With the overwhelming majority of boxing followers, Wooden won’t get seen as a bonafide world title-holder.

Of their official combat data, Matchroom Boxing said that Wooden had “claimed the WBA featherweight world title in a giant upset on the prime of the invoice on the primary week of Matchroom Battle Camp in Brentwood, Essex, dwell worldwide on DAZN.

“‘Leigh-thal’ created historical past by changing into solely the second-ever boxer from Nottingham to change into a World Champion – following within the footsteps of former IBF Tremendous-Middleweight World Champion Carl Froch, who was watching on from ringside.”

Now, that assertion could be true if the WBA had selected the standing of Santa Cruz, who misplaced his final outing to Gervonta Davis.

However at current, Santa Cruz continues to be named on the champions honor roll.

Leigh Wood featherweight Leo Santa Cruz

Clearly, his handlers are telling Wooden he’s the world champion. This complete situation is one other instance of how the WBA’s determination to have two champions confuses everybody.

That’s one of many important elements that noticed World Boxing Information refuse to proceed to place the WBA in the identical bracket as the opposite main sanctioning our bodies.

Wooden thinks he’s a world champion proper now. It is a majorly unhappy scenario for the fighter. A competitor who labored all his life to win a championship will get seen because the secondary to Santa Cruz.

The earlier the WBA eliminates these secondary belts, which everyone knows aren’t world titles, the higher for everybody concerned.

After one of the best victory of his profession, Wooden was clearly over the moon and wrongly thought he’d realized his dream.


“It feels good, you recognize, to get the stoppage over the road in an important and high-paced combat, the final spherical with six weeks’ discover, I couldn’t have performed any extra,” Wooden informed Matchroom.

“I did say in an interview that I’m going to be catching him clear, and it’s not right down to me how lengthy the combat lasts. It’s right down to him, just about. I may have sustained that every one evening.

“He took some massive pictures, massive coronary heart, credit score to him, however the accumulation has its impact as effectively.

“The shot I completed him with wasn’t as massive as those I caught him with earlier on, however they took their toll. I caught him and obtained the stoppage.

Leigh Wood Featherweight
Ian Walton


“I had perception in my energy. Not solely do I’ve massive energy, however I understand how to get it off, the right way to set it up, and the right way to combine it up. That’s the largest think about working with Ben, Lee Wylie, and Barry Smith. They’ve modified the sport for me.

“He wasn’t throwing 120 punches in any spherical. That’s right down to the sport plan. Everybody was saying, how are you going to do it? What are you going to do? Are you going to hit him arduous? Are you going to carry him?

“It was right down to the sport plan. Even individuals watching don’t perceive, however that’s a dialog for an additional day.

“Hopefully, the youthful generations see this and suppose, you recognize what, he’s performed it. He’s world champion, British, Commonwealth, European. Hopefully, individuals resolve to go choose up a pair of boxing gloves and begin their journey.

“My profession was stalled earlier on. I’ve been British, Commonwealth, WBO European, and now a world champion in three years. My greatest years are positively to come back,” he added.

The WBA has put Wooden in a horrible scenario when the belt he holds means nothing within the grand scheme of world champions.

Occasion organizers ought to be trustworthy from the beginning with their occasions as an alternative of selling secondary straps. The buck stops with them, and they need to be those to curb this horrible development of secondary belts.

The views expressed on this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports activities Journalists’ Affiliation. Comply with on Twitter @PhilJWBN.

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