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Joe Cordina continues to crave big fights but knows Cacace is no “walkover” | Boxing News

EVERY British world champion carries in their bucket list the dream of headlining in Las Vegas or at a famed venue like Madison Square Garden.

Joe Cordina is another. Winning the IBF super-featherweight world title in April last year against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov was another memorable night for Welsh boxing. Those inside the Cardiff International Arena were in full voice and carried their man through the storm Rakhimov brought during the Fight of the Year contender.

Cordina, 17-0 (9 KOs) saved the best performance of his career for his biggest night and was a deserving winner. But his second reign as champion hasn’t featured the type of high-profile fight that could headline Stateside.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Cordina spoke to Boxing News in the heat and humidity of another Riyadh fight week. Another heavyweight attraction takes centre stage and they don’t come much bigger than the undisputed showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Sitting in the chief support slot is Cordina and Belfast’s Anthony ‘The Apache’ Cacace, 21-1-1 (7 Kos) who is the second man, after Edward Vazquez, to try and take the title from Cordina.

Cacace isn’t the opponent Cordina is looking for to change his family’s future. This is a primary objective for the champion who wants to ensure that after he’s gone there will be no financial worries for his partner and children. Vazquez was another who didn’t get the champion’s blood pumping and almost paid the ultimate price because of that and, as he admitted to BN, “made a couple of wrong decisions which showed in my performance.”

So, what are his thoughts on Cacace?

“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’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.”

The super-featherweight scene is not currently blessed with a plethora of talent that could see Cordina’s name up in bright lights on the Vegas strip. O’Shaquie Foster (WBC champion) and Lamont Roach (WBA) are talented men but the Welshman would have to tempt them to the UK because of their lack of pulling power across the pond.

Meanwhile, Mexican favourite Emanuel Navarrete is moving to lightweight for a shot at the vacant WBO strap on Saturday night in San Diego against Denys Berinchyk.

Former champion Oscar Valdez got his mojo back against Liam Wilson and the WBO interim holder could be promoted to full status if his former foe stays at lightweight. But, regardless, Cordina is growing tired of hearing names and nothing materialising.

Then there’s the ‘domestic dust-up’ option of featherweights turned super-featherweights Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington.

“They don’t really appeal to me but if the money’s there, yeah. I’d rather fight for titles or big names worldwide but as long as the money’s there it’s not a problem.”

If Cordina is looking for big names then his time at 130lbs may be coming to an end. The lightweight division is bubbling and if Navarette likes his new home then he joins Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson, Vasyl Lomachenko as title holders with a supporting cast of contenders featuring William Zepeda, Frank Martin, Arnold Barboza, Gary Cully, Keyshawn Davis, Raymond Muratalla and more.

“If he [Stevenson] wants to fight I’ll fight him it’s not a problem,” Cordina said of the undefeated American.

“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. 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.”

Cordina would also relish the opportunity of tackling Lomachenko who looked back at his spellbinding best against George Kambosos Jr last weekend.

“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.”

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