Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing will make their annual trip to Monaco this weekend with IBF super featherweight champion Joe Cordina headlining the card.
‘The Welsh Wizard’ has made it public that he wants big unification fights in early 2024 so he will need to avoid any slip ups this weekend as American challenger Edward Vazquez looks to ruin the party.
As a 2016 Olympian, Joe Cordina turned professional with huge expectations and he was always earmarked as a future world champion. Nicknamed ‘The Welsh Wizard’ due to his dazzling natural boxing ability, the 31-year-old has always shown flashes of brilliance in his professional career and although he has managed to capture a version of the world title, there is still a feeling we haven’t seen the best of him.
It may seem harsh to say we haven’t seen the best of Cordina when you consider he is 16-0 (9KO) and a reigning world champion but it is a sign of how good the Welshman can be. He has suffered injuries that have stalled progress but with those now seemingly healed, it seems perfect timing for the former Team GB member to prove he is an elite champion.
The first fourteen fights in Joe Cordina’s career he won in first gear and he claimed various minor titles along the way. The real tests have come in his last two contests against Shavkhat Rakhimov and Kenichi Ogawa and he came through them both with flying colours.
In the first contest with Ogawa, Cordina produced a knockout of the year contender to claim the IBF title (which was then unfairly stripped from him) and then he won the belt back with a dominant decision win over Rakhimov which proved he can prevail with a victory no matter how the fight plays out.
Edward Vazquez arrives in Monaco as an underdog with very little to lose. Plenty of well-regarded voices in the USA claim that he can upset Joe Cordina this weekend but there is nothing on tape or on his record that would back up such claims. As a career featherweight, this will be the first time Vazquez has fought at super featherweight and he looked slightly undersized during Friday’s weigh in.
As a well-schooled amateur himself, Vazquez has got the pedigree to cause the champion problems this weekend but with just three knockouts in fifteen wins as a professional, he doesn’t look to have the power to get the respect of Cordina. Another negative for the American is that this will be his first attempt at the twelve round distance and that could spell trouble if he is under pressure from Cordina for extended periods.
Joe Cordina should have an answer for everything Edward Vazquez brings to the table this weekend but he will need to prove he hasn’t overlooked the American and nothing less than a statement victory will do if he is to secure the big fights he is craving.
Fighting a career featherweight should mean that Cordina has physical advantages as well as an experience advantage and with a big performance needed expect ‘The Welsh Wizard’ to do everything he can to win this one by KO/TKO. (20/21)
On the undercard, Ramla Ali goes straight back in Julissa Guzman just five months after the Mexican knocked her out cold. Ali, who has always been touted for big things, was winning the first fight before she began to trade and paid the ultimate price.
Both women deserve credit for taking this fight so soon after the first one but with so much on the line, Ramla Ali will box with much more patience and discipline and if she does, she has a chance to exact revenge and get her career back on track.
Ramla Ali to win at (6/4) is worth small interest.
BACK Joe Cordina to win by KO/TKO 2pts at 20/21 (⭐
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BACK Ramla Ali to win 1pt at 6/4 (⭐
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PROFIT/LOSS (NOV 2023): PROFIT 4.20 points