Joe Cordina Frustrated By Lack Of Big Fights But He Won’t Look Past Anthony Cacace

May 16, 2024
2 weeks
Joe Cordina during the public workout in Riyadh

Joe Cordina admits he has been left frustrated by the lack of big fights since becoming world champion, but insisted he is fully focused on Saturday’s fight with Antony Cacace.

Cordina (17-0-0 9 KO) is the reigning and two-time IBF super-featherweight world champion. He will make his second title defense on the undercard of the Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk undisputed heavyweight bout in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  

The Welshman first won the title with a sensational second-round knockout of Kenichi Ogawa in 2022, but a hand injury prevented him from defending, causing the IBF to strip him of the title. He won it back with a thrilling split-decision win over Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in April last year and successfully defended the belt with another close points victory against Edward Vasquez in November.

However, instead of moving on to unification bouts against the other champions at 130lbs, Cordina will face IBO title holder Cacace (21-1-0 7 KO) – a capable fighter but one not operating at world level.

Cordina Blames ‘Overpriced’ Rivals

O’Shaquie Foster (WBC) and Roach (WBA) are both potential opponents, but neither fighter nor Cordina have big enough profiles in the United States to generate the sort of money they would want to fight for. Meanwhile, WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete is moving up to lightweight and is fighting for the world title in San Diego on Saturday.

“I thought it would be quite easy [to fight in America] once you won a world title but it’s not as easy as I thought. It’s difficult to get them in the ring,” Cordina told Boxing News. “They always want strong money and some of them overprice themselves. That’s down to the promoters to make sure that happens but up until now we haven’t been able to do that.”

While Cordina has his sights set on a glamorous fight in Las Vegas or New York, he’s aware such dreams can be easily snatched away if he stops winning. That is why he is taking Cacace very seriously.

“I’ve watched him because he boxed a stable mate of mine, Martin J Ward. Martin beat him, so I’ve kept an eye on him,” he said.

Cacace ‘No Walkover’

“He’s a good fighter, technically good, good footwork, smart, awkward [and] he’s someone that I can’t take lightly. I can’t go in there thinking this is going to be a walkover because he hasn’t been in the at the top level.

“He’s someone who’s got the bit between his teeth, and he wants to win a world title but he’s in the same position as I am. If we don’t win this fight what’s next? My whole thing is securing my family’s future and he’s what’s in the way for me doing that. We’re both in the same position.”

Should Cordina fail to secure the big fights at 130, he admitted he would make the step up to lightweight, where several high-profile boxers operate. Shakur Stevenson (WBC), Gervonta Davis (WBA) and Vasiliy Lomachenko (IBF) hold the world titles at 135, and Cordina said he would be ready to face all of them.

“If [Stevenson] wants to fight I’ll fight him it’s not a problem,” Cordina said. “I’ll fight anyone as long as the money’s right. That’s what it comes down to at the end of the day. I haven’t got the amount of time that Shakur’s got left. I’m a lot older than Shakur.

Lomachenko ‘An Unbelievable Fighter’

“For me now it’s to make as much money as I can. If titles are there then take the titles as well as the money but he’s concentrating on titles, he wants to make history. I’ve achieved everything I’ve wanted to achieve apart from secure my family’s future.”

However, if there was one fight Cordina could secure, then it would be against one of his childhood heroes: Lomachenko.

“I grew up watching him,” Cordina said. “All my footwork that I was doing… why I was so good in the amateurs is because I was watching what he was doing. It’d be a massive opportunity for me. I’ve love to fight Lomachenko, share the ring with him. I wouldn’t share the ring and say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m in with Lomachenko.’

“I’m going to try and take his chin clean off but at the same time he’s an unbelievable fighter, one of the best fighters to ever do it, he’ll go down as an all-time great.”