Joe Cordina Ready For Dream Fights After Winning in Monte Carlo


Joe Cordina is looking to the future and his aim of unifying the super-featherweight division after a hard-earned points victory over Edward Vazquez at the weekend.

The Welsh world champion – and Sportin’ Wales columnist – successfully defended his IBF title in Monte Carlo on Saturday night.

Cordina now wants to pursue his hopes of meeting WBC title holder O’Shaquie Foster or WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete.

But the Cardiff fighter admitted he had not been at his best against Vazquez and said: “He’s tricky and he’s clever.”

Cordina won 114-114, 116-112 and 116-112 on the judges’ cards to extend his undefeated record to 17 fights.

“I had to track him down and work him out. Going into the 10th, my trainer told me it was level. I didn’t box to my best, but I still think I did enough to win. There are no marks on my face, but there are marks on his.

“Nothing was happening so I felt like I had to ignite something. I’ve seen him fight, he’s awkward. He’s better than I thought. I’m happy. I got a win against a good fighter with a bad performance.”

“I didn’t perform to my best, and he couldn’t beat me on my worst night, and he’s a sore loser.”

Cordina is now expected to look towards those unification showdowns or take an all-British clash with Leigh Wood, who is set to step up a division following victory over Josh Warrington and relinquish his WBA title.



Zoe Backstedt continued to prove her versatility as well as her huge potential when she won the Under 23 Women’s title at the European Cyclo-cross Championships in France.

Backstedt added a second European jersey to her 2023 collection at the weekend, after winning the race in sensational style under tough conditions.

Starting strongly on the front row, the 19-year-old Welsh star found herself in a lead pair, quickly riding away from the field with Marie Schreiber.

Backstedt delivered a superb third lap, the fastest in the race, to build a two-second lead on her French rival which – despite a couple of slips – ultimately proved unassailable and she cruised across the finish line to take the win.

It means Backstedt is now European U23 cyclo-cross champion as well as European U23 time trial champion on the road – a crown she won in September.



Wales head coach Tom Brindle insisted he was proud of his team despite Wales’ 60-0 defeat to England in a women’s rugby league international at Headingley.

Two tries apiece from Amy Hardcastle and Tara-Jane Stanley set England on their way as they scored 11 tries in a ruthless victory at the weekend.

Brindle said: “We knew the size and scale of the challenge that we were coming up against in England but I am massively proud of our girls.

“For large periods of that, we competed. It will be good for us to learn from that.

“Some of our execution should have been better. We were getting to the right places so hopefully they are easier fixes.”

England coach Stuart Barrow admitted: “We were disappointed with the first half.

“We had things to fix at half-time but the girls responded really well to what we told them and looked more like we wanted to at the start.

“Wales really brought it to us and challenged us and our scrambled defence showed our commitment to each other so I was pleased with the effort and application of that. We just had to fix a few things for the second half.”