- Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov is the betting underdog at +225.
- Joe Cordina is the betting favorite at -275.
- The winner will be crowned as the IBF World Super Featherweight champion.
The IBF World Super Featherweight title showdown between reigning champion Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (17-0-1) and former title-holder Joe Cordina (15-0) goes down this Saturday, April 22, inside Cardiff International Arena to determine the rightful owner of the coveted belt. It will be Rakhimov’s first defense since winning the belt against Zelfa Barrett in his previous bout.
Fit For A King ⚔️
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) April 17, 2023
Despite being the champion coming into the fight, the Tajikistan native is still the clear underdog in boxing odds at +225 versus Cordina, who is the former champion and one of United Kingdom’s rising boxing stars. The Brit is the considerable favorite in boxing betting lines at -275. Interestingly, Cordina was stripped of the same title when he pulled out of his initial meeting with Rakhimov due to a hand injury.
Cordina earned the IBF belt in June 2022 after a quick second-round knockout of Kenichi Ogawa. Because of his withdrawal from the supposed title defense against Rakhimov in November 2022, Barrett replaced him, who Rakhimov eventually stopped via a ninth-round TKO finish. Adding more on the line for this fight are the perfect records of both boxers as they are still undefeated in their pro careers.
Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov Recent Fight Results
Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov was an AIBA World Championships participant during its edition in 2013 before turning professional in December 2015 when he scored a second-round TKO debut victory over Visita Gairabekov. Since then, “Shere Khan” went on a nine-fight winning streak with seven stoppage victories.
Rakhimov defeated Sergey Dyachkov, Mirzhan Zhaxylykov, Musaib Asadov, Aleksandr Saltykov, Farhod Oripov, Jerry Castroverde, Roldan Aldea, Rogelio Jun Doliguez, and Jimmy Paypa. These wins became his springboard to fight for his first world title in September 2017 against Emanuel Lopez. Rakhimov didn’t waste the opportunity and outpointed Lopez via a unanimous decision to win his inaugural boxing title.
After winning the IBO belt, the Los Angeles resident defended it three times over Malcolm Klassen (eighth-round TKO in February 2018), Robinson Castellanos (second-round TKO in August 2018), and Rofhiwa Maemu (fourth-round corner stoppage in March 2019). Rakhimov recorded another win in September 2019 against Azinga Fuzile via eighth-round TKO to set up an IBF World Super Featherweight fight with Joseph Diaz in February 2021.
Diaz and Rakhimov fought into a majority draw, and the latter missed his chance to win another world title. It was also Rakhimov’s first minor dent in his immaculate record. Ten months later, he returned to the winning column with a second-round corner stoppage statement win over Sardor Muzaffarov and cracked another shot for the IBF World Title against Cordina in November 2022.
Cordina withdrew from the match due to an injury and was stripped of the title, and Zelfa Barrett replaced Cordina in the title fight with Rakhimov. The 28-year-old endured an early knockdown in the title fight and engineered a ninth-round TKO win over Barrett to finally claim the vacant IBF World Super Featherweight title on his second try. He hopes to beat Cordina this weekend to prove he is the true IBF champion.
Joe Cordina Recent Fight Results
Unlike Rakhimov, Joe Cordina had a lengthy amateur career from 2011 to 2016, which he capped off with an Olympic stint during the 2016 games in Rio. A year later, after that lone Olympic campaign, Cordina made his professional debut against Jose Aguilar in April 2017 and scored a fourth-round TKO finish. Following this dream debut, the Cardiff, Wales, native quickly added six more wins to his record.
Cordina defeated Sergej Vib (first-round TKO in April 2017 — one week after his debut win), Josh Thorne (first-round corner retirement in May 2017), Jamie Speight (first-round TKO in September 2017), Lester Cantillano (unanimous decision in October 2017), Lee Connelly (fourth-round TKO in December 2017), and Hakim Ben Ali (third-round TKO in March 2018). Because of these wins, Cordina earned his first boxing title match.
In August 2018, the 31-year-old was pitted against Sean Dodd for the vacant Commonwealth Boxing Council Lightweight title, and Cordina lopsidedly beat Dodd to collect his first minor title. The former Olympian immediately fended off Andy Townend’s and Gavin Gwynne’s challenges to retain his Commonwealth Boxing Council Lightweight belt and capture the BBBofC British Lightweight title.
The Welshman extended his unbeaten streak to 14 win four more wins versus Mario Enrique Tinoco (unanimous decision in November 2011), Faroukh Kourbanov (majority decision in March 2021), Joshuah Hernandez (August 2021), and Miko Khatchatryan (unanimous decision in December 2021). Cordina finally earned a world title shot when he challenged Kenichi Ogawa for the IBF World Super Featherweight title. He fully utilized the opportunity and knocked out the Japanese fighter in two rounds to claim the belt.
Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina: Tale of the Tape
Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina Fight: Analysis
There is not much difference between Rakhimov and Cordina’s tale of the tape, as Cordina leads by only half an inch in height and reach. The two big differences between them are the age and TKO/KO percentage. Cordina is three years older than Rakhimov, but Rakhimov has the higher TKO/KO percentage by 22 points. Also, they have different boxing stances as Cordina fights in orthodox, while Rakhimov stands in southpaw.
This IBF title fight will be a battle of styles because Rakhimov is a boxer who uses pressure to establish his physicality and engineer his combinations. He also has tremendous cardio, which is the primary reason why he doesn’t stop moving forward, even in late rounds. Add his lethal left-hand punches to his arsenal that is being championed by his Southpaw, then you have a dangerous champion.
Meanwhile, Cordina is the more agile boxer who uses his speed and footwork to move around his opponents to counterpunch and find the angles to his power punches. He also has stiff jabs to measure the distance and earn respect from his opponent. Although it is unknown if his recent hand surgery should bother him in the fight or not, still, he has the power to put out the lights on anyone in the division.
The key for Rakhimov this Saturday is to constantly put pressure on Cordina and cut him off to the ropes so he could pour on the punches and combinations, especially the deadly body shot. On the other hand, Cordina should always circle around Rakhimov, avoid his power side, and counter him whenever he presses forward. Also, the Brit should earn the Rakhimov’s respect in the opening rounds to make him second-guess.
Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina: Date and Start Time
April 22, 2023, 2:30 p.m. PT
April 22, 2023, 4:30 p.m. CT
April 22, 2023, 5:30 p.m. ET
Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina: Fight Prediction
Official Prediction: Unanimous decision for Joe Cordina.
See the entire Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina odds and wagers here.
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