Rakhimov vs Cordina Running Order And Other Important Details Ahead Of Saturday’s Fights
Tajikistan’s Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (17-0-1, 14 KOs) defends his IBF super featherweight world title against former champion and mandatory challenger, Wales’ Joe Cordina (15-0, 9 KOs) this Saturday, April 22 at the Cardiff International Arena (formerly known as the Motorpoint Arena) in Wales live on DAZN.
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2016 Olympian Cordina produced the ‘knockout of the year’ last year when he spectacularly flattened then-champion Kenichi Ogawa inside two rounds in June. Cordina was ordered to face mandatory challenger Rakhimov in November of last year but he, unfortunately, injured his right hand whilst in training camp and was stripped of his title by the IBF in a hasty move due to the prolonging of mandatory deadlines.
Rakhimov instead fought Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett for the vacant championship on the condition that whoever won must face Cordina in their first defence. Despite Barrett winning the early rounds and putting on an impressive showing, Rakhimov prevailed in the end via stoppage.
Six months on the roles are reversed, Cordina’s the mandatory and Rakhimov’s the champion with momentum. A real 50-50 world title fight in front of what will be a sold-out, red-hot atmosphere in Cardiff in the lead-up to the super fight between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia later that night, also on DAZN.
Rakhimov vs Cordina Undercard
Sandy Ryan will clash with Marie-Pier Houle for the vacant WBO Welterweight Title.
Derby’s Ryan (5-1, 2 KOs) was last in action at Wembley’s OVO Arena last November, outpointing Argentina’s Anahi Ester Sanchez over ten rounds in the first defence of her WBC International Super-Lightweight Title.
The former Team GB star, who avenged her one and only loss to former World Champion Erica Anabella Farias at the Sheffield Arena last summer, steps up to 147lbs as she bids to become Britain’s latest World Champion.
Canada’s Houle (8-0-1, 2 KOs) has yet to taste defeat since joining the professional ranks back in June 2019, contesting all but one of her nine pro fights in her homeland, and the 32-year-old from Quebec is promising to inflict Ryan’s second defeat in the pros.
Welsh rivals Gavin Gwynne (15-2-1, 3 KOs) and Craig Woodruff (12-6-1, 4 KOs) rematch for the British Lightweight Title following their thrilling draw in Bolton last September.
Gwynne has penned a multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing and a win here could secure him an opportunity against one of the other fighters in Matchroom’s stable including world-ranked contenders Gary Cully and Angel Fierro.
Gwynne is never in a dull fight and having shared the ring with one-half of the main event previously, he has tons of experience behind him. Many felt that Woodruff was hard done by last time out and now he gets a second chance at the Lonsdale belt.
Manchester’s former World Title challenger Zelfa Barrett (28-2, 16 KOs) faces the USA’s Jason Sanchez (16-3, 9 KOs) for the WBA Continental Super-Featherweight Title.
Barrett was supposed to face fellow Brit Alex Dilmaghani but unfortunately, Dilmaghani pulled out just a couple weeks out and was replaced by former title challenger Sanchez. A less intriguing fight but still a solid matchup nevertheless.
The Mancunian was stopped by Rakhimov in the ninth round for the world title last November after being up on the cards through eight. He now looks to perform impressively against Sanchez and is hoping for a Cordina win in the main event which would set up not only a second chance at the title but also a big domestic clash.
Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson (14-0, 11 KOs) puts his IBF European Title on the line against Swindon’s Luke Watkins (16-2, 11 KOs).
Thompson faced the toughest test of his career last time out after winning comfortably through eight and a half rounds but a scare in the ninth followed by a 10th-round knockdown almost saw a late upset.
Teaming up with Tony Sims, Thompson now looks to show an improved version of himself against a fighter that is coming off a career-best win, an upset over Iain Martell, and put himself into the domestic mix which includes the likes of Okolie, Riakporhe, CBS and Lawal, and Chamberlain.
Rakhimov vs Cordina Card Prelims
Australia’s Skye Nicolson (6-0) warms up against Peru’s Linda Laura Lecca (15-6-2, 3 KOs) over eight rounds at Featherweight before fighting for the WBC Interim World title later this year.
Swansea Super-Bantamweight Brandon Scott (4-0, 1 KO), who has made headlines in the build-up on fight week, takes on journeyman Reynaldo Cajina (15-79-5, 11 KO) over four rounds.
Newport Super-Featherweight Nathan Howells (5-0-1) meets Oldbury’s Jahfieus Faure over four rounds.
Swansea Light-Heavyweight Sammy Lee (1-0) fights Latvia’s Juris Zundovskis (6-5, 5 KOs) over six rounds.
Kingston Heavyweight Miles Gordan-Darby (3-0) takes on Swindon’s Phil Williams (5-41-1, 1 KO) over four rounds.
Cordina vs Rakhimov Running Order
Before The Bell 4:15 pm BST
Miles Gordon-Darby vs Phil Williams – 4 rounds, heavyweight
Sammy Lee vs Juris Zundovskis – 6 rounds, cruiserweight
Nathan Howells vs Jahfieus Faure – 4 rounds, super featherweight
Brandon Scott vs Reynaldo Cajina – 4 rounds, super featherweight
Skye Nicolson vs Linda Lecca – 8 rounds, featherweight
Main Card Live From 7:00 pm BST
Jordan Thompson vs Luke Watkins – IBF European Cruiserweight Title
Zelfa Barrett vs Jason Sanchez – WBA Continental Super Featherweight Title
Gavin Gwynne vs Craig Woodruff – British Lightweight Title
Sandy Ryan vs Marie Houle – WBO Welterweight Title
Shavkat Rakhimov vs Joe Cordina – IBF Super Featherweight Title
Rakhimov vs Cordina Start Times, Ring Walks, TV Channel
A 10-fight card which features Cordina’s domestic rival and potential opponent Zelfa Barrett, Sandy Ryan‘s world title challenge, the British lightweight title and more is scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm BST (11:00 am ET, 8:00 am PT) on the Matchroom Boxing and DAZN Boxing YouTube channels with the main card a little while later at 7 pm BST (2 pm ET, 11 am PT) on DAZN globally.
Main Event Ring Walks will occur at approximately 10:00 pm BST (5:00 pm ET, 2:00 pm PT).
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Shavkat Rakhimov vs Joe Cordina – IBF Super Featherweight Title – Sat, April 22– Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff – Live On DAZN