Joe Cordina faces his acid test

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Joe Cordina appears to turn into a place of birth hero in opposition to Ogawa in Cardiff, writes John Dennen

Joe Cordina’s occupation has been lengthy. He’s been boxing professionally for 5 years now, however he was once a 2016 Olympian and had a protracted beginner track-record ahead of that. Now then again his occupation might be near to to take off, if he can beat Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa on the Motorpoint Enviornment in Cardiff on Saturday (June 4).

His upward thrust has been a sluggish burn. However victory on this struggle would release him into global magnificence. Ogawa is an impressive opponent and ranked quantity 4 at super-featherweight.

The person from Toyohashi grew to become skilled again in 2010. He’s gathered a 26-1-1 listing. Combating his method throughout the Jap scene within the early years of his occupation, Ogawa racked up stoppage wins. His first struggle outdoor of his place of origin got here in 2017 when he was once mandated to struggle Tevin Farmer for a vacant IBF super-featherweight strap. Urgent with aggression in opposition to the skillful American Ogawa to start with picked up the verdict on the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, one thing of a marvel on the time. The verdict turned into much more contentious when Ogawa failed a drug check for prohibited substance androstanediol. In the long run the results of the Farmer struggle was once modified to a no contest. The Nevada State Athletic Fee suspended Ogawa for 6 months (he claimed he by no means knowingly took the substance) and he was once additionally stripped of the IBF belt.

However in boxing the sort of shame didn't inhibit Ogawa coming again. He was once out of motion for a 12 months ahead of he started rebuilding again in Japan and in the end arrange a showdown with South Africa’s Azinga Fuzile in New York. Fuzile had handiest misplaced as soon as in the past, a issues opposite to Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, recently the arena quantity 3 super-feather. Fuzile had additionally inspired when he treated the United Kingdom’s Martin Ward final 12 months. However Fuzile may just now not comprise Ogawa. The Jap fighter closed in on him, depending on his explosive immediately proper. Over the process 12 rounds he badly harm the South African, losing him closely within the 5th and twelfth rounds, hurting him however going the space to select up the IBF belt. He would be the sternest problem Cordina has confronted but.

Even though Cordina has handiest had 14 professional bouts, his fresh run of contests will have to have ready him to step as much as the upper ranges. In 2019 Cordina gained the British and Commonwealth light-weight titles after 12 tricky rounds with Gavin Gwynne. That during itself was once a decent consequence. Although Gwynne can be halted by means of the power-punching James Tennyson, he did halt Sean McComb and lately gained the British name himself in opposition to Luke Willis. It was once the dimensions disparity with Gwynne that gave Cordina and his group some pause for concept. He due to this fact moved right down to super-featherweight and due to this fact has taken the best bouts to assist him bridge the space between the home and Eu and doubtlessly global degree. In 2019 Cordina took a ten spherical issues win over Mexico’s Mario Enrique Tinoco, the one guy to have given Jordan Gill a qualified loss. Some of the 3 bouts he had final 12 months Joe were given 10 rounds in with each Faroukh Kourbanov, who would cross directly to win the Eu name, and Miko Khatchatryan. The latter gave Cordina a good exercise. The Welshman in large part outclassed him, stinging him with speedy, neatly put in combination combos and controlling the process the motion.

The query he should resolution on Saturday is whether or not he can resist Ogawa’s bodily attack. Cordina has superb handspeed, effective boxing abilities and excellent toes. From time to time in opposition to a bullish aggressor like Ogawa he's going to dazzle. He can settle right into a rhythm and gather rounds as soon as he will get the Jap fighter’s measure. Whilst Joe will have to hit with authority, Ogawa is most probably so as to take his chronic. He's going to stay seeking to grind ahead and from time to time will indubitably drag Cordina right into a determined firefight. The place of birth fighter might be driven arduous when that occurs however he will have to now be neatly sufficient ready to manage. He can come thru tough rounds and spells of ferocious drive to win an in depth determination.
If he does so in his house town, and if he plays with the talent and aptitude he’s in a position to handing over, it might be simply what Cordina must mark him out in an exhilarating weight magnificence.

The aforementioned Kourbanov might be at the undercard to make a primary defence of his Eu championship in opposition to Zelfa Barrett. It’s a superb opportunity for the latter, who can glance excellent as he is taking a vital piece of silverware.

Additionally at the invoice former Eu champion Gamal Yafai returns from his loss final 12 months to Jason Cunningham.

Australian Olympian Skye Nicolson is making an energetic begin to her skilled occupation. She’s already boxed 3 times this 12 months. Her fourth professional contest might be in Cardiff in opposition to Gabriela Bouvier, a Uruguayan who gained an IBF belt down at flyweight again in 2013. She has fought more than one instances for WBC straps however her listing is a modest 15-10-1 and Nicolson will have to indubitably be too excellent, too giant and too robust for her. Dalton Smith, a super-lightweight greater than in a position to struggle at British championships degree now, will get an day out at the invoice as does Calum French, a most sensible world beginner now growing as a professional.

The Verdict This might be Cordina’s acid check.