As Season VI of the World Series of Boxing was unleashed in Istanbul at the weekend, it was a new addition to the China Dragons roster, 23 year-old bantamweight Xu Boxiang, who grabbed the headlines with a stunning performance that also earned him the honour of WSB’s Boxer of the Week.
Xu began his boxing career at the tender age of 13, finally making it onto the international circuit in 2011 when he was selected to take part in the 21st President’s Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia. The newcomer made an immediate impression, defeating Chinese Taipei’s national team member Kao Chih Yuan and India’s former Asian Junior Champion Chhote Lal Yadav on his way to bronze, only losing out to the Cup’s eventual winner Sung Dong Hyeon.
The 165cm-tall Xu took part in last year’s Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria, beating the home nation’s talented Katin Asenov in the opening bout before defeat at the hands of Ukraine’s EUBC European Youth Confederation Champion Yuriy Shestok. He was able to build on that experience with a silver medal in at China’s National Boxing Championships in July, helping his ascension into the ranks of the China Dragons team.
The long trip to Turkey ahead of the opening match of Season VI clearly didn’t put China’s bantamweight star off his stride, going after home boxer Hakan Cigdem from the bell and refusing to let up his intensity until the Turk was knocked down in the fourth, with Xu awarded the win by Technical Knockout.