Kenichi Ogawa vs Joe Cordina Title Defense Set for June 4 in Cardiff, Wales
Matchroom Promotions has announced that Joe “The Welsh Wizard” Cordina (14-0, 8 KOs) will challenge IBF junior lightweight champion Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KOs) on June 4 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. The bout will air live on DAZN.
It’s Ogawa’s first title defense. He won the then-vacant IBF world belt with a decisive victory over Azinga Fuzile in November 2021. Afterward, he signed a promotional deal with Matchroom. The defending champ comes in with the reputation of being tough and technically sound, with plenty of power in both hands. As part of the fight announcement, the 34-year-old from Tokyo, Japan said the following:
“First of all, I want to thank Mr. Eddie Hearn for this opportunity. Hello to Team Cordina. I am disappointed that I could not attend the launch press conference, but I’m looking forward to fighting in Cardiff. Let’s be in our best shape for this fight. But I will be the one to win this fight. See you in a month.”
UNDERSTANDING WHAT’S AT STAKE
A former British and Commonwealth champion at 135 pounds, Cordina dropped down to the junior lightweight division in 2019. In November of that year, he defeated Mario Enrique Tinoco by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBA Continental junior lightweight title.
After being inactive in 2020 because of a hand injury, the 30-year-old from Cardiff racked up three wins in 2021. Currently ranked third by the IBF and tenth by the WBA at 130 pounds, Cordina said the following in reaction to his upcoming match with Ogawa:
“I’ve dedicated my entire life to boxing and to putting myself in this position. 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.”
This is a golden chance for Cordina, who gets to fight for a world title in his backyard. Expect the Motorpoint Arena to be buzzing on fight night. The Cardiff crowd will surely be cheering hard for their hometown fighter.
Ogawa has no issues fighting on the road. His win over Fuzile happened at Madison Square Garden in New York City. With eyes on a unification bout later this year, a victory over Cordina would further boost his standing internationally.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.