China’s only current world champion, Xu Can, has watched fellow fighters quit the ring over the past year because of the lack of opportunities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – but the 26-year-old is determined to battle on and fulfil his dreams. WBA featherweight champion Xu (16-2 -0, 3 KOs) – known as “Monster” – was supposed to take on IBF title-holder Josh Warrington (30-0-0 7 KOs) in a blockbuster unification fight early in 2020 but the bout was put on hold because of the coronavirus. Media reports say the fight may be held in early February in the Briton’s home city of Leeds and Xu – who has seen a number of bouts cancelled – is raring to go. “I’ve been confused. I don’t know how long to wait, because I’ve been waiting from the beginning of the year until now,” Xu told Chinanews.com. “Agents, promoters, including coaches, sometimes tell me there might be a fight, and start preparing. After preparing, they suddenly said it cannot be done and I have to take a break. 110shots in 10s. How about that? @KingRyanG pic.twitter.com/cJbwIHlKer — Xu Can (@XuCan_Monster) September 1, 2020 “Many professional fighters I know have retired and become coaches because there is really no competition. Some even changed careers and went to work [in other jobs]. Of course, some people are working while boxing. “It’s a unification war [against Warrington], I have to fight. After all, I have waited for a year My next goal is a unification war.” Xu Can: China’s latest boxing star to put world title on the line in May Boxing Day and all that ... pic.twitter.com/O3FTge6eBo — Josh Warrington (@J_Warrington) December 26, 2020 Xu became the third Chinese boxer to hold a major world title when he stunned Puerto Rican Jesus M Rojas by unanimous decision at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas, on January 26, 2019. He went on to defend the title twice against Japan’s Shun Kubo (by TKO) in Fuzhou, China, on May 26 last year and against American Manny Robles III (unanimous decision) on November 23, 2019. He has since been waiting patiently for the Warrington fight, admitting he has struggled to stay motivated with the lack of income and tedium of training. “There are only three or four fights a year,” he said about pursuing a career in boxing. “In the early stages, the appearance fee is not high. Without a reputation, there is no money. “[But] you can get results if you survive loneliness, boredom and time.” Fast punches in 10s. Who can do this better than me? pic.twitter.com/YzZyBiUfpE — Xu Can (@XuCan_Monster) August 6, 2020 Xu is seen as the new poster boy for Chinese boxing after two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming lost his WBO flyweight belt in 2017. Zou (9-2-0, 1KO) won Olympic gold medals at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 after a bronze at Athens 2004, but his career came to a halt after a TKO loss in Shanghai to Japan’s Sho Kimura in his first title defence. Xiong Zhaozhong was China’s first world champion, beating Mexico’s Javier Martinez Resendiz by unanimous decision in Kunming in November, 2012, to claim the vacant WBC mini-flyweight title. Xiong defended the title twice before losing in a fifth-round TKO to Mexican Oswaldo Novoa in Nanyang in February, 2014.