Joe Cordina bids to become a two-time IBF super-featherweight world champion when he takes on Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in his home city of Cardiff.
Cordina won the IBF belt with a stunning knockout victory over Kenichi Ogawa at the same venue last June, but the Welshman was subsequently stripped of the crown.
The 31-year-old had been due to defend his world title against Rakhimov in Abu Dhabi last November, but a hand injury forced the Welsh Wizard out of that contest and his IBF title was removed.
Rakhimov took full advantage by beating Zelfa Barrett for the vacant IBF super-featherweight crown and that belt is now on the line when Shere Khan takes on former champion Cordina.
|What||Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov v Joe Cordina|
|Where||Cardiff International Arena|
|When||22.00, Saturday, April 22, 2023|
|How to watch||DAZN|
|Odds||Cordina 4/11, Rakhimov 2/1, Draw 12/1|
The fight will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2023.
The main card is expected to kick off at 7pm. The feature event between Anthony Yarde and Artur Beterbiev is scheduled for 10.00pm. Exact times will depend on the duration of previous undercard bouts.
The contest will take place at the Cardiff International Arena. Cordina will have an enthusiastic home crowd on his side and this is the very venue that the Welshman knocked out Kenichi Ogawa to claim the IBF super-featherweight world crown last June.
Cardiff International Arena has played host to Premier League darts, Welsh Open snooker and the nine-ball World Professional Pool Championship. The venue has a seated capacity of 5,000 and the vast majority of those seats will be taken by Cordina fans.
The fight will be shown live on subscription streaming service DAZN. The bout will be available in over 200 countries and can be viewed on a myriad of devices.
The unbeaten Cordina is the 4/11 favourite as the Welshman bids to become a two-time IBF super-featherweight world champion.
Rakhimov, the current IBF king, is 2/1 to hold on to the title the Tajikistan fighter captured after beating Zelfa Barrett in November.
Shere Khan has recorded 14 stoppage victories from 18 professional contests and it’s 4/1 that the 28-year-old makes it 15 against Cordina. The bout is 8/11 to go the full 12 rounds and 1/1 to end before the final bell.
The IBF super-featherweight strap is on the line in Cardiff. Rakhimov is the defending champion, Cordina previously held the title, but was stripped of the crown after a hand injury prevented the Welshman from making his first defence against Rakhimov in November.
Cordina has the chance to become a two-time world champion and both boxers bring unbeaten records to the ring.
Cordina is an excellent performer and the Welsh Wizard took his opportunity to shine when knocking out Ogawa to claim the IBF super-featherweight title last June. The 31-year-old has worked his way from small hall shows to world level and the Cardiff puncher is unbeaten in 15 professional contests.
Cordina captured the Commonwealth lightweight title when beating Sean Dodd in 2018, before going on to land the British crown when tackling Andy Townend in 2019.
The Welsh Wizard made the step up to world level when challenging Ogawa for his IBF super-featherweight belt last year, and the 31-year-old showed that he is a top-class performer with a stunning knockout victory.
Rakhimov was due to be the first challenger to Cordina’s IBF title in November, but a hand injury forced the Welshman out of that contest.
The Tajikistan man is unbeaten in 18 professional contests, with 17 wins and one draw on his card and the 28-year-old did get a crack at a world title when taking on Zelfa Barrett for the vacant IBF belt last year.
That was a cracking contest that saw Shere Khan recover from a third-round knockdown to stop Barrett in the ninth and claim the title formerly held by Cordina.
Gavin Gwynne and Craig Woodruff clash for the British lightweight belt, while Jordan Thompson defends his IBF European title against Luke Watkins.