The Cardiff designer who makes bespoke fightwear for Tyson Fury, Jake Paul and Joe Cordina

  • Video report by Sion Jenkins

  • Article by Kathryn Charles

A Cardiff designer who can count the likes of Tyson Fury and Jake Paul on his client list, has handed over his latest creation to Welsh boxer Joe Cordina ahead of his world title fight.

Imtayaz first made a pair of shorts for Joe Cordina for his second professional fight

The 'Welsh Wizard' has the chance to win back his belt and become a two-time IBF super-featherweight champion in Cardiff this weekend when he faces Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov at the International Arena.

The pair's meet was called off last year after Cordina suffered a hand injury and he was stripped of the title which he won in a one-punch knockout in the capital.

Joe Cordina became world champion after defeating Kenichi Ogawa in June last year, but was later stripped of his title Credit: PA

The Cardiff-born boxer is putting the final preparations in place - and one of the things at the top of his list is his match outfit.

Enter Imtayaz Qassim.

Imtayaz has been making bespoke designs for boxers for six years Credit: Everlast

The fashion designer started working in the boxing world to make bespoke designs for some of the world's most famous names six years ago.

"A lot of boxers tend to go to people who make shorts whereas I'm a fashion designer, so I like to bring that luxury fashion element into everything I do.

"Every pair of shorts I design has a concept around it - and the storytelling is what I love the most."

Working out of his studio in Barry, south Wales, Imtayaz has been putting the final touches to his latest creation for Cordina, who was his first customer back in 2017.

Imtayaz still describes handing over his designs as "nerve wracking" Credit: Everlast

"I've boxed and kick-boxed all my life so I was always around the sport, and Joey is someone I've known for a while. I saw a gap in the market and I knew I could do it.

"So I reached out to him to make a pair of shorts for his second pro fight, and here we are six years later."

His designs have seen him produce creations for the likes of social media personality and professional boxer Jake Paul where he designed a bullet-proof utility vest for his fight against Anderson Silva.

Imtayaz has also made bespoke items for Conor Benn and Tyson Fury.

He described how "nerve wracking" it can still be when his creations are handed over.

"When you put so much hard work into something that started off in your mind, and now it's a physical thing, handing it over can be a bit nerve wracking."

"I don't watch the fight - I watch the shorts! I'm praying everything goes OK. Last time, Joey's fight was a two-round knock-out, so I'm hoping for something similar this weekend."

Imtayaz showing Joe his shorts for the world title fight

Imtayaz met with Joe at his hotel to hand over his outfit which includes a matching walk-on jacket. He described the painstaking work that went into the outfit, which is encrusted with more than 1,000 Swarovski crystals.

Joe is putting final preparations in place ahead of his fight

"The name Cordina is all embroidered and all the crystals have been put on by hand. It has blue foiled fabric which represents a dragon scale for the Welsh dragon.

"Everything is blue and white for Cardiff City to represent home. He [Joe] always has his children's names on his shorts and his favourite verse from the Bible.

"We use a lot of white for Joe because he likes to feel fresh and light and that's why the base is always white.

"Everything's luxury - everything is made here by hand by myself."

The outfit is made with more than 1,000 Swarovski crystals

Reacting to the outfit, Cordina said, "I was the first person Imtayaz made boxing shorts for - and now he's doing it for people all over the world. He's done a great job with this one.

"When you look good, you feel good it's just a natural thing. On a night out, if you've got a nice pair of fresh trainers on, you feel like a million dollars you've got a strut on, it's the same thing in boxing.

"I can express myself in the ring then."

Cordina said he believes he will come out of the fight victorious

Speaking about the fight on Saturday, Cordina said, "Preparation has gone good - I've left no stone unturned. The way I've been feeling it's going to be an electric night and I'm sure with all the hard work I've done, I'll be coming away with a victory.

"It's going to be a tough night - he's a tough fighter, but you've got to have a little bit more to beat me. I'm expecting it to be a tough fight, but I will come away as a two-time world champion.

"When it gets tough, I think about my kids, and then there's no stopping me.

"In my head I'm a world champion, I haven't lost it in the ring. I've got the confidence of being a world champion, and now it's time to go out there and prove why I'm the best super-featherweight in the world."