Joe Cordina will get the chance to reclaim the IBF super featherweight championship of the world on April 22 when he will take on current belt holder, Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.
The contest was announced today as part of DAZN‘s schedule for the first half of the year, and will take place in front of Cordina’s fervent supporters at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
‘The Welsh Wizard’ was stripped of the title through no fault of his own when he was forced to withdraw from a mandatory defence against Rakhimov last autumn, who then went on to stop Zelfa Barrett to win the vacant strap.
Earlier in the year, Cordina sent a hometown crowd into meltdown to become world champion, when he stopped the dangerous Kenichi Ogawa in just the second round with what many believe was the best knockout of 2022.
It was without question the crowning moment of the 31 year old’s career to date, and was seen as true fulfilment of the promise the former team GB standout displayed in the amateur ranks.
Rakhimov, however, is a formidable opponent and will be plenty confident of spoiling the party in Wales in just over two months time.
After a slow start against Barret in Abu Dhabi last November, the southpaw from Tajikistan recovered from an early knockdown to eventually break down ‘Brown Flash’ and secure a ninth round stoppage.
Cordina will go into the bout as favourite in the eyes of many, but will be well aware he must be on his A-game should he wish to become a two time world champion and open up the doors to lucrative unification fights with the likes of Shakur Stevenson.