Unbeaten Joe Cordina Reclaims His World Title With Thrilling Win

Harry Corish - Sportin Journalist

Unbeaten Joe Cordina Reclaims His World Title With Thrilling Win

Joe Cordina regained his IBF World Super-Featherweight title with an impressive performance against the resilient Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, who bravely fought on after being knocked down in the second round, ensuring the fight went down to the wire.

Despite this, Cordina displayed his class and won the decision with scores of 111-116, 115-112, and 114-113 on the judges’ cards. It was Cordina’s first fight in ten months after breaking his hand and being stripped of his title in November 2022.

However, he put any concerns surrounding his injured hand to rest with a memorable 12-rounds in the Welsh capital.

Rakhimov’s determination made the fight a completely different experience from Cordina’s stunning stoppage win over Kenichi Ogawa last year. The Welsh fighter was pushed to his limits to ensure the title remained in Wales.

Cordina started the match assertively as the hometown favourite, and the fight warmed up from the first round.

He found success in the second round, dropping his opponent with a thrilling left cross with one minute left on the clock. Rakhimov got back up from an eight count and continued to throw dangerous shots of his own.

In the fifth round, Rakhimov had Cordina hurt early, causing the Welsh fighter to go on the defensive. A flurry of punches from Rakhimov had Cordina cornered, but Cordina turned the tables with a big right-hand punch towards the end of the round.

The seventh round was a stunning one for Cordina, as every move he made seemed to come off. His precision and power was awe-inspiring, and he inflicted further damage to Rakhimov’s already closing left eye.

Rakhimov was warned again for the use of his head in the eighth round, but the 28-year-old continued to fight valiantly, firing dangerous shots to counter Cordina’s excellent work.

The two fighters traded heavy combos until the final bell, but Cordina prevailed with a split decision to win in his hometown.

Merthyr’s Gavin Gwynne had earlier defended his British title against Newport’s Craig Woodruff. Gwynne took the fight to Woodruff, who struggled to deal with Gwynne’s direct approach throughout the contest.

Gwynne finally forced the victory in the fifth round when the referee, Michael Alexander, stepped in to call a halt to the fight.

On the Joe Cordina undercard, the Welsh fighters achieved a hattrick of wins. Brandon Scott, Sammy Lee, and Nathan Howells delivered outstanding performances to secure three Welsh victories at the Cardiff International Arena.

Scott won his fifth consecutive professional match with a dazzling display, utilizing a range of body shots and clever angles to dominate Reynaldo Cajina.

Sammy Lee from Swansea secured his first professional stoppage with a first-round retirement by Juris Zundovskis.

Nathan Howells from Newport triumphantly returned to his winning form with a 40-36 decision win against Jahfieus Faure.