It’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the UK this weekend, and another hoping for a coronation is Joe Cordina. The Welshman tackles IBF super featherweight champion, Kenichi Ogawa, at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff this Saturday night on top of a Matchroom promoted bill.
DAZN televise Ogawa vs Cordina live worldwide, excluding Australia and New Zealand.
Cordina (14-0, 8 KOs) is a massive talent, but this is a big jump up in class for the man from just down the road from the arena.
The 30-year-old debuted in 2017 after appearing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and quickly went through the levels.
He won British, Commonwealth and WBA International titles at lightweight before a switch down to super featherweight in 2019, where he outscored Enrique Tinoco in Monaco to win the vacant WBA Continental strap.
The ‘Welsh Wizard’ has made one defence of the belt, and that came in his most recent contest, a wide win over ten against the unbeaten Miko Khatchatryan in December 2021.
He now meets the experienced Tokyo native Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KOs), a man who defends his belt for the first time.
The 34-year-old did originally win the vacant IBF belt back in 2017, with a split decision win over Tevin Farmer, but that result was overturned and changed to a no contest due to a failed post-fight drug test.
‘Crush Right’ then resurfaced in his homeland picking up three wins and a technical draw, before challenging for the same vacant title in his last fight in November 2021, dropping Azinga Fuzile twice on the way to a points win in New York.
Prediction: This looks very much a case of getting a shot at the right time for Cordina, and Ogawa should represent an opponent that he can flourish against. I expect the visitor to test Cordina’s chin early on, but once he comes through the first four frames, Cordina can pull away for a clear victory on the cards.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) November 28, 2021
Barrett battles Kourbanov
Zelfa Barrett hopes to be on the hunt for world honours himself, but ‘Brown Flash’ must make do with a shot at the European super featherweight title here, with the champion, Belgium’s Faroukh Kourbanov standing in the Manchester man’s way.
Barrett (27-1, 16 KOs) is on a good run of form, and is in line to face the winner of the main event here after outscoring Bruno Tamimo in his last fight, an IBF title eliminator.
Kourbanov (19-3, 3 KOs) has a low knockout ratio and three defeats on the slate, but he did push Joe Cordina close in March last year, going down by majority decision over ten, and won the vacant title last December, with a majority verdict over Nicola Henchiri.
Prediction: I fancy Barrett to become the new champion with a clear points win.
Smith faces Perouene
Dalton Smith looks like a star in the making, and Sheffield super lightweight makes a first defence of the WBC International Silver title against Argentina’s Mauro Alex Hasan Perouene.
This young man is going all the way! https://t.co/rE4znKCM4i
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) May 31, 2022
Prediction: Smith (10-0, 8 KOs) already has a raft of impressive early wins on his slate, but he may need the later rounds to see off Perouene (14-5-1, 7 KOs), who has only been stopped once, when the towel came in, in a last round defeat in Spain in September last year.
Skye Nicholson (3-0) has had a busy year to date, and she enters eight round territory for the first time.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 30, 2022
Prediction: The Aussie should defeat Uruguay’s Gabriela Bouvier (15-10-1, 3 KOs) over the distance at featherweight.
At welterweight, Joe Morgan (3-0, 1 KO) can stay unbeaten with a points win over Rustem Fatkhullin (8-32, 3 KOs), and Ben Crocker (3-0, 1 KO) can do the same against Evgenii Vazem (9-29, 4 KOs).
Kyran Jones (3-0, 1 KO) can also bank a points win over Vasif Mamedov (2-17-3) at middleweight.
Former European super bantamweight champion, Gamal Yafai (18-2, 10 KOs), super lightweight prospect, Calum French (2-0, 1 KO) return and super middleweight, Monique Bux makes her professional debut.