Source: Cordina injures hand; Rakhimov fight off


Joe Cordina’s junior lightweight title defense vs. Shavkat Rakhimov, scheduled for Nov. 5 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is off after Cordina suffered a hand injury that will require surgery, a source told ESPN.

The IBF informed Cordina (15-0, 9 KOs) on Monday that he has been stripped of his title, a source said.

Rakhimov, the organization’s No. 1 contender, and Zelfa Barrett, who is ranked No. 2, will be in line to vie for the vacant 130-pound belt.

When the IBF sanctioned a fight between its then-champion, Kenichi Ogawa, and Cordina, it did so under the provision that the winner fight Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13 KOs) by Sept. 2. Cordina, an Olympian from Wales, won the title in June with a highlight-reel KO in the second round.

In July, the IBF granted Cordina a medical extension to allow the fight against Rakhimov, the mandatory challenger, on Nov. 5. The IBF granted Cordina another medical extension that would expire on Jan. 4, but the 30-year-old won’t be available to compete until approximately March, according to an orthopedic hand surgeon consulted by the organization.

Rakhimov, ESPN’s No. 2 junior lightweight, was slated to fight Ogawa last year but withdrew because of injury. In his lone title challenge, the Tajikistan-born fighter was held to a draw against Joseph Diaz Jr. in February 2021. Diaz failed to make weight ahead of the fight, so the belt became vacant, setting up Rakhimov, 28, for a mandatory shot.

Barrett (28-1, 16 KOs) isn’t rated by ESPN, but the 29-year-old from Manchester has impressed in a recent string of fights against European-level opposition.

Cordina, ESPN’s No. 7 junior lightweight, should be in line for a mandatory shot at Rakhimov after he recovers from hand surgery.

A light heavyweight title fight between Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will headline Matchroom Boxing’s Nov. 5 event in Abu Dhabi.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Yesterday’s Heroes: The Strange Case of Johnny Mann
Aleem vs Baez FULL FIGHT: November 27, 2021 | PBC on Showtime
Jermall Charlo Approaches Dmitry Bivol For Catchweight Fight
This Weekend’s Biggest Fight Doesn’t Involve Heavyweights
Shane McGuigan believes Daniel Dubois has the tools to climb to the top of the Heavyweight ladder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *