Cor­dina set for ti­tle tilt on Joshua’s Cardiff bill

Western Mail - - SPORT -

WALES’ Joe Cor­dina will fight for his first ti­tle on the un­der­card of An­thony Joshua’s world heavy­weight uni­fi­ca­tion fight against Joseph Parker on March 31.

‘The Welsh Wiz­ard’ will box at the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium for the sec­ond time in his ca­reer af­ter sam­pling a taste of the big-arena at­mos­phere over four rounds when Joshua was last in Cardiff in Oc­to­ber.

Cor­dina will face Andy Tow­nend for the WBA In­ter­na­tional light­weight ti­tle in his home­town, his first shot at a strap in what will be his sev­enth out­ing in the pro­fes­sional ranks.

The 28-year-old from Barns­ley, who boasts a record of 20-4, rep­re­sents Cor­dina’s big­gest chal­lenge yet.

“This is the per­fect fight for me to start 2018,” said Cor­dina. “It’s a big step up for me. Andy is a proven fighter, just look at his record – there’s a lot of knock­outs against some de­cent names.

“There’s no doubt­ing he’s dan­ger­ous, so I’ll have to bring my A-game. I think I’m more than ca­pa­ble of beat­ing him to win my first ti­tle, but I’m sure he thinks it too, it’s a good fight for the fans.”

The last time Cor­dina boxed in his home­town, he was the float and ended up be­ing rushed on be­fore the main event, win­ning the short­ened bout against Les­ther Can­til­lano.

Fights on the un­der­card went on longer than many ex­pected, mean­ing there was even a chance Cor­dina would be de­nied his chance to fight on the big stage in front of his home fans.

As it hap­pened, he was thrust into the ring with no walk-on and, by his own ad­mis­sion, per­haps tried too hard to get the knock­out.

But box­ing in front of more than 70,000 fans in his own back­yard is an ex­pe­ri­ence the St Mel­lons boy is look­ing for­ward to re­peat­ing.

“It’ll be great to fight at the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium again,” he said. “I didn’t re­ally have time to soak it all in last time, but I’m grate­ful look­ing back I fought in front of so many peo­ple.”

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