Joe Cordina (15-0, 9 KOs), will make his first IBF Super-Featherweight World Title defense against his mandatory opponent Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13 KOs) at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 5, live to subscribers worldwide on DAZN (excluding South Korea and MENA), on the undercard of the WBA light heavyweight title fight between current champion Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto "Zurdo Ramirez.
In Cordina's world title win, he threw his name in the awards race as he landed a one-punch KO of Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa on a memorable night at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff to become a world champion.
“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. It’s going to get tough in there but I’m going to be prepared for that.
Tajikistan’s Rakhimov fought for the IBF super featherweight title against Joseph Diaz Jr., as Diaz Jr missed weight for the bout only for the two to fight to a draw. Rakhimov was scheduled to face Kenichi Ogawa but had to withdraw due to an injury allowing Cordina the chance to win the world title.
“We have a huge night of World Championship boxing planned for Abu Dhabi on November 5 and Joe Cordina vs. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov is the first addition to an all-action undercard,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “The Welsh Wizard landed the IBF Super-Featherweight World Title with an epic one-punch knockout win in his home city earlier this year but that’s just the start of the journey for Welsh boxing’s latest star. Joe has ambitions of becoming undisputed at 130lbs but first, he needs to get past an incredibly tough first defense in the shape of IBF number one Rakhimov who has already challenged for the IBF crown.”