Welsh Boxer Joe Cordina wants world title back after being talked out of retirement

Joe Cordina is not built like the rest of us.

He's made to hit with devastating power and speed, and avoid the punches that get thrown back.

And last year the boxer became a world champion for the first time after producing a huge knockout punch against Kenichi Ogawa in his home city of Cardiff.

After 14 unbeaten fights, his 15th win finally put him on top of the world.

"It was massive," he told ITV Wales. "It seemed like everything was lined up for me. It was in my hometown, my weight went perfect, my whole fight week went perfect, nothing went wrong that week.

"So when I was going into the ring it wasn't nothing to me, I wasn't nervous - I had my butterflies, don't get me wrong - and I felt like nothing could have beaten me on that day.

"For me to get to that point and win a world title in the fashion that I did, it was a dream come true for me."

Kenichi Ogawa and Joe Cordina in the International Boxing Federation World Super Feather Title at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff in June 2022. Credit: PA

Cordina was due to defend his title last November against Shavkat Rakhimov but he suffered a hand injury, which meant the fight had to be postponed.

As a result, the International Boxing Federation stripped him of his world title.

After all the elation, came a crushing low.

"It's not very common," he explained. "Don't get me wrong, you have people stripped for certain things and whatever else but to be stripped of it for an injury, not even four months after winning it, yeah, that's not heard of, really.

"It has been hard, I'm not going to lie. The first three or four weeks, I was a bit in my feelings. I don't want to say it's depression because I don't want to go down that road but if I had to pick a word to describe it, yeah, that's what it was.

"I was a bit depressed, thinking about if it was worth carrying on because if I've got to have this amount of time out of the ring then there's no point.

"It's just like, I'm getting older, the clock's ticking, I've been stripped of my title, what's the point?"

After being talked out of retirement by his wife Lauren, Joe is back in the boxing ring. Nothing is confirmed yet but he expects to be fighting Rakhimov to get his belt back in 2023.

"Rakhimov is a tough fighter," admitted Cordina. "Technically, he is nowhere near my level but he's very tough and I've seen it in previous fights, he grinds wins out. Clearly he can punch.

"But I'm a smart fighter and smart fighters always prevail in the end and I believe I will beat him comfortably, I will get the better of him and I will get my title back."

The 31-year-old says he would like to finish off his career with a match at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Given everything that has happened in the last few months, the 31-year-old is taking nothing for granted.

But he holds a burning desire to one day fight at the Cardiff City Stadium, home of his beloved Bluebirds. And after winning his title back, he hopes that dream may one day become a reality.

He said: "I've boxed in the Principality Stadium, I've boxed in Wembley Stadium and Bramall Lane Stadium and for me now, I want to get this fight out of the way and I want a big fight in the summer.

"Obviously, you need the right dancing partner, Shakur Stevenson has called me out a few times, he's one of the best fighters on the planet at this present moment and he's called me out.

"I've got to punch him in the face, it's as simple as that. So if we could get that on in the summer that would be perfect and I think we could do the Cardiff City Stadium and that's my goal before I finish my career."  

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