Champ Joe Cordina looks to unify as Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington appear set for rematch

Two-time IBF super-featherweight champion Joe Cordina is waiting in the wings “for a big fight… a unification fight” said his coach, Tony Sims.

Cordina is 17-0 with nine stoppages and in his last three fights has defeated Kenichi Ogawa, Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and Edward Vazquez. The Rakhimov bout was a Fight of the Year contender and Cordina beat Vazquez in Monte Carlo via majority decision.

“Obviously he only just fought in November [against Vazquez], so he’s back home at the minute in Wales,” said Sims. “In the new year we’ll be looking to do a big fight for him.”

The other super-featherweight champions are O’Shaquie Foster, Lamont Roach and Emanuel Navarette. A fight with Foster looked like it might happen, but Foster moved from Matchroom – who promote Cordina – to Top Rank at the end of 2023. 

Instead, Cordina’s name was mentioned in the frame of other Brits, like featherweights Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington, who could move up the challenge the Welsh talent. 

Those are fights Cordina would have been open to.

“We would fight either one of them,” Sims added. “But I think they’re more interested in fighting each other [in a rematch], which doesn’t do anything for us, so we’ve got to go our own route and try and look for unifications at the minute. But yeah, we would’ve been interested at fighting either one of them. There was talk of Joe fighting Leigh Wood at one point, after Leigh Wood knocked [Josh] Warrington out, there was talk of it but I think Wood wants to go down the route of having the return with Warrington for some reason – but apparently it’s going to be up a weight at Joe’s weight [super featherweight]. I don’t really know what they’re doing, you’ve just got to concentrate on what you’re doing. He [Wood] didn’t really want do the fight, so we’ve just got to move on and do our own thing.”

Wood and Warrington have two significant fanbases, and Wood has dreamed of fighting in Nottingham’s City Ground football stadium, home of his beloved Nottingham Forest. While Cordina has his supporters, it seems that Wood and Warrington is natural for a football stadium, given Warrington’s Leeds fans.

“Joe carries a big crowd with him as well from Cardiff, so the fight would have been big anyway, but he’s got to do what he’s got to do, and Joe’s got to do what he’s got to do,” Sims added. “The fight never really got off the ground, we were up for it, and they weren’t really up for it.”