Welsh boxer Joe Cordina 'gutted' to be stripped of world title due to hand injury

Cordina has been stripped of his world title due to injury. Credit: PA

Welsh boxer Joe Cordina has said he is "absolutely gutted" to have been stripped of his world title due to injury.

Cordina, from Cardiff, was scheduled to defend his super-featherweight World Champion title against Shavkat Rahkhimov in Abu Dhabi on November 5.

But the 30-year-old suffered a hand injury which required surgery and has since been stripped of his title by the IBF.

Posting to Twitter, Cordina explained: "Absolutely gutted. Worked my whole life to become a world champion and I haven’t even had the chance to defend the title."

He added: "Feel like I’ve been robbed!!"

Nicknamed 'The Welsh Wizard', Cordina is undefeated in 15 pro fights.

His most recent knockout was in Cardiff against Kenichi Ogawa on 4 June 2022.

In response to the stripping of Cordina's title, the IBF emphasised that as part of the conditions, the winner of the June 4 fight (Cordina v Ogawa) must defend the IBF Jr. Lightweight title against Shavkat Rakhimov within 90 days or by September 2.

They added that on July 7 a medical extension was granted for Cordina and the fight was rescheduled for November 5 in the UAE.

The IBF statement concluded: "In a letter dated September 21, 2022, Consultant Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon Mike Hayton wrote that Joseph Cordina’s 'Return to boxing will be no sooner than 4 months post-surgery'.

"Based on Dr. Hayton’s letter, Joseph Cordina would not return to boxing until approximately March of 2023. Joseph Cordina’s 60-day medical extension for this injury will expire on January 4, 2023, which is prior to the date of Mr. Cordina's estimated return to boxing.

"To postpone the Cordina vs. Rakhimov bout any further, Mr. Cordina would need to seek and be granted an Exception pursuant to IBF Rule 11. However, one the conditions of the May 3, 2022, IBF communication stated that the IBF will not grant any further Exception request. Additionally, Rule 11 J states in part: 'A reigning Champion shall not be permitted to request more than one Exception to delay a mandatory obligation'.

"The IBF has declared the IBF Jr. Lightweight title vacant as a result."