Former IBF super featherweight champion Joe Cordina was set to defend his title this Saturday against Shavkat Rakhimov.
Cordina’s scheduled bout with Rakhimov would’ve been his first defence of the belt after winning it in spectacular fashion from Kenichi Ogawa in June. The fight was pencilled in for this Saturday in Abu Dhabi, but ‘The Welsh Wizard’ sustained a hand injury in camp, leading to the bout being cancelled and the Welshman was stripped of his world title.
The vacant belt would still be on the line in Abu Dhabi, and with Rakhimov being the mandatory challenger, he would switch to the A-side of a bout for the vacant belt, and his opponent was soon to be confirmed as former European champion, Zelfa Barrett.
Cordina has still made the trip out to Abu Dhabi and crossed paths with the man who he was supposed to face this Saturday. A picture was captured of the pair touching knuckles, but the Welshman’s facial expression showed told a different story. ‘The Welsh Wizard’ posted the photo to Instagram with the caption ‘Bittersweet moment for me here in Abu Dhabi’ with an emoji that suggests frustration.
View this post on Instagram
In an interview with IntuBoxing, Eddie Hearn has confirmed that both Rakhimov and Barrett have signed to fight the Welshman following their collision this Saturday, meaning Cordina will get the chance to regain his belt.