Joe Cordina to defend super-featherweight title against unbeaten Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov

Welshman Joe Cordina will make the first defence of his IBF super-featherweight title against mandatory challenger Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in Abu Dhabi.

Cordina became world champion with a one-punch second-round knockout of Japan's Kenichi Ogawa in his home city of Cardiff in June to take his record to 15 wins from as many fights. 

Rakhimov is also unbeaten as a professional but he could not claim the vacant IBF crown in February 2021 after a draw against Joseph Diaz, who forfeited the title on the scales after missing weight.

The Tajikistani will get another chance later this year, though, in a bout which will feature on the undercard of Dmitry Bivol defending his WBA light-heavyweight title against Gilberto Ramirez.

"I know it's going to be a tough fight so I'm going to be prepared for 12 hard rounds," said Cordina. "I know I'm going to have to bite down on my gumshield and dig my toes in.

"I still want to be the best in the world - I want to win more titles. I've reached my goal of becoming world champion but now I've set new goals which include becoming a unified and undisputed world champion."

READ MORE: Dmitry Bivol hails Zurdo Ramirez as ‘toughest’ challenger and vows to become world’s best boxer

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