Joe Cordina: We just couldn't strike a deal for Cardiff, Matchroom said O'Shaquie Foster wanted too much money

Joe Cordina will defend his IBF super featherweight world title against the little-known American Edward Vazquez on November 4th at the Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The undefeated Welshman became a two-time world champion when snatching the title from Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in a toe-to-toe contest that saw Cordina win by split-decision in his native Cardiff. 

“I was too meant to fight 30th of September in Cardiff, but a deal just couldn’t be made.” Cordina said in a virtual round table. “I don’t know if it was the money or the opponent, but we just couldn’t get it sorted. I was training in limbo for no particular opponent, which was frustrating. I just wasn’t happy with the situation, so I said ‘It ain't realistic’ I said ‘this needs to be changed’. The only date they had was the 4th of November in Monte Carlo. I’ve boxed there before and enjoyed it.

Cordina (16-0, 9 KOs) was coming off a Knockout of the Year victory over Kencihi Ogawa the year before facing Rakhimov in his hometown. The talk during Rakhimov fight-week this past April centered around Cordina going big in Cardiff, the people of the city reminiscing of Joe Calzaghe Vs Mikkel Kessler at the national stadium in 2007.

However, all did not go to the plan of Cordina and his promoter Eddie Hearn, the pair publicly disagreeing on the Welsh star’s next career move. 

“I thought we were going to Cardiff castle, that’s what I got told.” Cordina explained. “I was on holiday and I was told that we were at Cardiff Castle at the beginning of September. That wasn’t what got relayed [to me], I took my daughters to watch the wrestling in Cardiff International Arena and the guy who runs it pulled me aside and said ‘we booked this for the 30th of September.’ I was like ‘what, I got told it would be Cardiff Castle or wherever.’ They said it might be provisionally booked, so I was like ‘okay.’ That was that, so I started kicking up a bit of a fuss. Now whether we could have got it [Cardiff Castle] or not, I don’t know. Regardless, we wasn’t able to get it sorted, especially in the timeframe then. 

“We were heading for the 30th of September, with no opponents and money wasn’t sorted. I wasn’t training for anybody! There were six or seven weeks to go until a world title fight, I was like ’na, this isn’t happening, I said ‘this is not realistic and not making sense to me.’ So we had to change it, the only other date was the 4th of November and it was the only one available. Obviously, I want to fight in front of my hometown and in front of my home supporters but everyone wants to fight in their hometown. But, I’m not going to complain in Monte Carlo because I love the place. I even said I would go to America, I said ‘get me a big fight, I want a big fight.’ Basically all the other champions were tied up apart from O’Shaquie Foster. They [Matchroom] told me he wanted too much money, I can’t remember the exact purse because they didn’t tell me. They said the revenue wasn’t there at the Motorpoint Arena. I just said ‘l’ll go to America’ not a problem. But I’m not taking this fight lightly because when I get through this, that’s what is there on the horizon, big money fights. It is a chance to set my family up and give me a little bit of that financial freedom. So I can’t take this next fight lightly."