Boxing With Joe Cordina

Joe Cordina Shares His Thoughts On Some Of Welsh Boxing’s Biggest Prospects Ahead Of Crucial Few Months…

The Cardiff born boxer insists Welsh boxing is in an excellent position at the moment. With plenty of young talent showing huge potential, there should be lots to look forward to over the next month.

2JBAX1W Joe Cordina celebrates defeating Kenichi Ogawa in the International Boxing Federation World Super Feather Title at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2022.

Cordina himself is preparing to take back his IBF World Junior Lightweight Championship belt in Cardiff next month when he fights Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, while Liam Bull will be competing in his 5th professional fight in Oldham on 18th March.

Port Talbot’s Joshua John recently continued his rebuild towards a title shot, beating Michael Ramabeletsa, a former English champion, in the eight-round contest at the end of February.

John quickly put aside his first ever professional loss, against Mark McKeown last summer, putting in a top performance in Penarth against Ramabeletsa. The 28-year-old went on to announce another fight at the end of the month, as he looks to keep up his momentum heading into the Spring.

Meanwhile, Lauren Price will be heading to Paris to continue her rise in professional boxing where she’ll take on Naomi Mannes, having stopped Timea Belik last time out in the fourth round of her previous fight. The 28-year-old will be hoping to improve her 2-0 record with a strong performance, as she dreams of fighting in Wales.

On Price, Cordina said: “Lauren is a great fighter; I’ve known her for a long time. She’s come through the same set up as I did and had plenty of success as an amateur. Where she has got so much success is that her boxing ability is far superior to the fighters that she is going to be fighting.

“She might be reluctant to try out certain things and just focus on getting people out of the ring and pick up wins. Maybe she will need a pretty tough fight to look back and reflect.

“But she has an experienced trainer in Rob McCracken. I’m sure they are working on a lot in the gym together, trying to get to that next level. I think she can go a long way.”

In other major news for Welsh boxing fans, Rhys Edwards’s (13-0, 4KO) eagerly anticipated step up has been confirmed as he prepares to take on Liverpool’s Brian Phillips (12-3, 3KO) at the AO Arena on March 25th, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Boxing.

The 22-year-old has been training alongside fellow Welshman, Cordina, at his training base in Essex, and the boxer from Tonypandy will be hoping to put on a good performance in front of the cameras after a solid start to his career.

“Rhys has taken himself out of his comfort zone and trained really well. It’s a big move for him to try something new,” commented Cordina.

“The intensity in these camps will have been something new to Rhys, but he has grafted hard, and he is looking in great shape.”

Cordina is excited about Welsh boxing and hopes that recent success isn’t forgotten about as he looks to help grow the sport in the country, insisting there’s still plenty of work to be done.

“The state of boxing at the moment in Wales is very good. All the ingredients are there after plenty of success, but I think we should aspire to be even better.

“Building the depth and talent in Wales would be a big step forward, but obviously you need to have funding to do that successfully.

“I think it would be great to have an amateur show at the National Sports centre once a month. It would be great to bring a small international tournament to Wales.

“It would be an experience for the Welsh fighters and hopefully we could get more young people watching the sport.”

Cordina, himself a product of grassroots sport, knows better than anyone how important its role is in shaping young people’s lives, even if they don’t go on to play at a professional sport. It’s crucially important that Welsh boxing continues to reach the younger generation in the highly competitive field of sport in Wales.

“I try and give as much support as I can to the people who helped me along the way.

“I really enjoy spending time at Llandaff boxing club, I know a lot of the young guys coming through there and at Splott.  I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like to, but it’s always good to give back.

“There’s definitely a lot of talent that hasn’t really been seen by the Welsh public yet and at the minute, the only way is up for the sport.

“There are plenty of fighters who’ve really shown their quality over the past few years. The likes of Rosie Eccles, Taylor Bevan and the Croft twins have shown that Wales has the ability to produce excellent talent, but it would be nice to increase the depth in quality that we have too.”