Eddie Hearn has asked the WBA to strip Leo Santa Cruz if the WBA featherweight title becomes “Super” so that Leigh Wood can become its first champion.
Wood won the “regular” WBA title when he stopped Xu Can in the finals at Fight Camp on Saturday.
Santa Cruz, 32, has been wearing the “Super” title since 2017, when he recaptured it from Carl Frampton. But he hasn’t boxed in the division since 2019 after winning and losing a “super” super featherweight title. With the Mexican still the main champion in the WBA, it will be harder to fight a settlement battle for Wood.
“You have to get Leo Santa Cruz out of the division and raise him (Wood) because Santa Cruz hasn’t boxed for three years at featherweight,” Hearn said. “They keep saying he’ll be back, but I don’t believe them.”
Wood was offered the fight with six weeks notice as a favor from Hearn to Golden Boy, the promoter who is also under contract with DAZN in the US. Can hadn’t boxed since 2019 and with no show available to put him on, they made an appeal to Hearn.
“Golden Boy had to get Xu Can out and they said, ‘Can we do this on one of your shows?'” Hearn said. “I said we can do it in the UK and I will face the opponent. I said you can have Jordan Gill or Leigh Wood and they chose Leigh Wood = it was the worst decision they ever made.
“I was hoping Leigh would win the fight, but deep down I thought Can Xu was a very strong favorite. But he just didn’t know how to deal with him.
“Every time Leigh switched to southpaw, he was pinged everywhere. It was probably a bit of Leigh Wood’s trick, a bit of inactivity, but Leigh Wood trained him. ”
There was talk of Wood looking to fight for the vacant IBF title against next weekend’s Jazza Dickens-Kid Galahad bout winner, or Josh Warrington, if he wins, his rematch with Mauricio Lara on September 4th rematch clause in Woods Contract with Can.
“There’s a rematch clause.” said listening. “I think he’ll want to, but I just can’t imagine him winning this fight.
“There are some big domestic fights for him. Maybe if Jazza Dickens wins next week it will be a good rematch, last time it was a good fight. Warrington-Lara’s winner, maybe. And he talked about a fight with Emanuel Navarette (the WBO champion). It’s a good breakdown at the moment. ”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was a boxing correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001 to 2019 – at four Olympic Games and numerous World Cup fights around the world. Since the 1980s, he has written on boxing for a variety of publications around the world.