Kenichi Ogawa will defend his IBF 130-pound title against Joe Cordina at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on Saturday June 4, live worldwide on DAZN.
Welshman Cordina (14-0, 8 KOs), a former British and Commonwealth Champion at Lightweight, dropped down in weight to Super-Featherweight after handing his compatriot Gavin Gwynne a first loss at The O2 in London in August 2019.
‘The Welsh Wizard’ captured the WBA Continental 130 pound title against Mexico’s Mario Enrique Tinoco at the Casino de Monte-Carlo in November 2019 before suffering a hand injury that kept him out of the ring throughout 2020.
Determined to make up for lost time, the now 30-year-old stacked up three wins in an active 2021 – including a stunning first round knockout victory over Chicago’s Joshua Hernandez at Matchroom Fight Camp in the summer – and now sits at No.3 at Super-Featherweight with the IBF.
Japan’s Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KOs) claimed the vacant red and gold 130 pound World Title by overpowering the dangerous Azinga Fuzile in a wide points decision at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York, last November, dropping the South African in rounds five and twelve.
The 34-year-old from Tokyo is on the hunt for unification fights and represents a sizable step up in class for Rio 2016 Olympian Cordina, having only tasted defeat once in 29 professional bouts – a stoppage loss at the hands of Yuki Miyoshia at Korakuen Hall back in August 2012.
On the undercard, Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett (27-1, 16 KOs), who is ranked at No.2 with the IBF, looks to build on his impressive win over Australia’s Bruno Tarimo on the Parker vs. Chisora 2 undercard when he challenges European Super-Featherweight Champion Faroukh Kourbanov (19-3, 3 KOs) – a former opponent of Cordina.
“I’ve dedicated my entire life to boxing and to putting myself in this position,” said Cordina. “Now it all comes down to this opportunity, my World Title shot.
“It’s a lifelong dream of mine to become a World Champion and a stepping stone to securing my family’s future and making all of the times missed with them worth it.
“I’ll be taking this opportunity with both hands; I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to win and be crowned the new IBF World Super-Featherweight Champion. Be ready to see the best Joe Cordina come fight night as I put my name at the top of the division.”