Joe Cordina ruled out of world title defence in Abu Dhabi after hand injury

Welshman was set to defend the IBF super-featherweight belt against Shavkat Rakhimov on November 5

Joe Cordina won IBF World Super Featherweight title after beating Kenichi Ogawa in Cardiff in June. Getty
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Joe Cordina's title defence against Shavkat Rakhimov in Abu Dhabi is off after the super-featherweight champion suffered a hand injury.

The bout was one of three championship bouts announced for November 5 at Etihad Arena, where light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol headlines against mandatory challenger Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez.

The unbeaten Cordina, 15-0 as a professional, has reportedly been stripped of his IBF title, with No 1-ranked contender Rakhimov now expected to take on No 2 Zelfa Barrett for the vacant belt. That fight has yet to be confirmed. ESPN were the first to report the news of Cordina’s injury.

In a social media post on Tuesday morning, Welsh Olympian Cordina posted a picture of his heavily stitched hand and wrote: “Absolutely gutted. Worked my whole life to become a world champion and I haven’t even had the chance to defend the title. Feel like I’ve been robbed.”

The November 5 event in Abu Dhabi represents the first in the recently announced agreement between the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and renowned promotion Matchroom Boxing. Entitled the “Champions Series”, it marks Abu Dhabi’s move into hosting major boxing events.

Other than Bivol-Ramirez, Matchroom have confirmed the card will include a championship bout between WBC and IBF women’s junior welterweight title-holder Chantelle Cameron and undisputed welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill.

Updated: October 04, 2022, 9:51 AM