Leigh Wood plotted Emmanuel Navarette ‘pursuit’ before world title opportunity

British featherweight Leigh Wood is ‘fully focussed’ ahead of his newly promoted world title main event at Fight Camp, but admits he originally planned WBO world title ‘pursuit’ of Emanuel Navarrete

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World title challenger Leigh Wood has revealed that he initially planned a WBO world title shot against Emanuel Navarrete before being handed the opportunity against Xu Can.

The British featherweight defeated Reece Mould last time out in devastating fashion with an explosive ninth round stoppage back in February at Wembley Arena.

This set up the world title opportunity against the WBA regular champion against Can, but ‘Leigh-thal’ has highlighted there were other options on the table at featherweight.

“There was Navarrete as an option with the WBO belt,” Wood told Eddie Hearn at the Fight Camp press conference.

“After my last fight against Reece Mould, me and my agent took a look at a range of options.

Leigh Wood spoke at a press conference ahead of world title bid


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“Navarrete was the option that I wanted to go for particularly stylistically.

“But there are plenty of names, the division is red hot.

“In Britain as well with next week (Galahad vs Dickens).”

Wood has previously fought Jazza Dickens during his professional career back in February 2020 where he faced his second defeat by unanimous decision after losing to Gavin McDonnell earlier on his record.

And he has been consistently linked with a rematch ever since, but now faces the opportunity to become world champion before his domestic rival despite the defeat.

The opportunity is one that Wood has labelled as a ‘dream’ and one that he will relish after preparing thoroughly with new trainer Ben Davison.

“It is the thing you dream of coming into the gym as a kid,” Wood continued.

“A world title shot in my home country, I am ready and I believe I will win a world title.

“My preparations with trainer Ben Davison, listening to him has handed me an opportunity so I will be ready.

“But I must be spot on on Saturday night or this could all dissolve into the abolition.”

Wood’s contest with his world champion opponent has now been promoted to the main event slot on the first week of Fight Camp, after British welterweight Conor Benn was forced to pull out of his clash with Adrian Granados after a positive Covid-19 test.

He has already unveiled his ‘secret weapon’ that he believes will give him an advantage over Can on Saturday night, with the Chinese fighter already planning his next move and will call out Josh Warrington should he defeat his opponent in his latest mandatory defence.

The card will be shown exclusively on streaming service DAZN after Eddie Hearn elected to end his relationship with multimedia giant Sky Sports in the UK signing an exclusive broadcast rights deal with the new digital player.

Campbell Hatton will also fight on the reduced card at the weekend, and has revealed his long-term ambition of fighting at the Manchester Arena with a crowd, following in the footsteps of his father Ricky Hatton.

Matchroom Boxing’s poster boy fighter Anthony Joshua will continue the action for the label next month, as he faces a tough task against mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which will be broadcast on Sky Sports Box Office.

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