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July 10, 2023
By: Kirk Jackson
This upcoming weekend is a jampacked, full of boxing championship importance from Super Bantamweight, to Lightweight and for this feature of focus for this article, Super Featherweight.
Seeking world championship acclaim, undefeated Joe ‘The Welsh Wizard’ Cordina (14-0, 8 KO’s) challenges champion Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KO’s) for the IBF Super-Featherweight world title at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on Saturday June 4, live worldwide on DAZN.
Stepping up in class, the Welshman Cordina, a former British and Commonwealth Champion at Lightweight, dropped down in weight to Super-Featherweight, after handing his compatriot Gavin Gwynne his first defeat at The O2 in London in August 2019.
“I’ve dedicated my entire life to boxing and to putting myself in this position,” said Cordina. “Now it all comes down to this opportunity, my world title shot.”
“It’s a lifelong dream of mine to become a World Champion and a stepping-stone to securing my family’s future and making all of the times missed with them worth it.”
Japan’s Ogawa claimed the vacant IBF world title by overwhelming Azinga Fuzile in a wide points decision at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York, last November, dropping the South African in rounds five and twelve.
The 34-year-old from Tokyo, is on the hunt for unification fights and represents a sizable step up in class for Rio 2016 Olympian Cordina, having only suffered defeat once in 29 professional bouts – a stoppage loss at the hands of Yuki Miyoshia back in August 2012.
“First of all, I want to thank Mr. Eddie Hearn for this opportunity,” said Ogawa. “Hello to Team Cordina. I am disappointed that I could not attend the launch press conference but I’m looking forward to fighting in Cardiff. Let’s be in our best shape for this fight. But I will be the one to win this fight. See you in a month.”
Also featured on the undercard, Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett (27-1, 16 KO’s), who is ranked at No.2 with the IBF, looks to build on his impressive win over Australia’s Bruno Tarimo on the Parker vs. Chisora 2 undercard when he challenges European Super-Featherweight Champion Faroukh Kourbanov (19-3, 3 KO’s) – a former opponent of Cordina.
As far as opportunities go, Cordina understands this is a golden opportunity and has the chance to become champion in front of his hometown fans.
“I’ll be taking this opportunity with both hands; I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to win and be crowned the new IBF World Super-Featherweight Champion. Be ready to see the best Joe Cordina come fight night as I put my name at the top of the division.”
Ogawa for his part of course, wants to play spoiler to the hometown hero and secure his chances for greater glory along with his aspirations for unification.
“This is it for Joe Cordina – the opportunity of a lifetime and his moment of truth,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn.
“Joe has an opportunity to become World Champion in his home city and put himself up there with the greats. Ogawa is huge step up, big, strong and proven as an elite fighter. Victory for both men sets up huge unification opportunities – we expect an incredible atmosphere in Cardiff and a great show on June 4.”