Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe hoping Cordina can bring the good times back to Welsh boxing

Welsh icon and International Boxing Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe hopes Joe Cordina wins impressively on Saturday night and brings big-time boxing back to Wales.

Cordina actually said he was hoping to emulate Calzaghe and provide Welsh boxing with an all-important shot in the arm at the pre-fight press conference ahead of his fight with IBF super-featherweight champion Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.

Everyone thought the glory nights were back after Cordina stopped Kenichi Ogawa with one of the best punches of 2022, but a hand injury meant Cordina could not defend his newly-won crown and the IBF stripped him of the vacant title Rakhimov subsequently won.

Now, after that false start, Calzaghe believes Cordina can carry on where he left off, starting with another emphatic victory at the Cardiff International Arena.

Calzaghe retired in 2008 at 46-0 having won world titles at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight. He, and his trainer father Enzo, spearheaded a Welsh boxing revolution that saw Enzo Maccarinelli, Gavin Rees and Nathan Cleverly win world titles. Lee Selby would go onto win an IBF crown, but had several of his key fights in the USA.

Now, Calzaghe is rooting for Cordina. “I can see a good performance, you will see his style,” predicted the Welsh great. “I think he’s going to win in style and then hopefully kick on and hopefully get some unification fights and maybe who knows, fight in the Millennium Stadium.”

That stadium, now known as the Principality, is where Calzaghe defeated Peter Manfredo and Mikkel Kessler. It’s where Anthony Joshua fought Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker, too, but it’s Calzaghe-Kessler from 2007 that captured the imagination of Calzaghe’s nation.

“Kessler was a great fight, it was my last super-middleweight fight and to beat Mikkel Kessler for all of the belts was a great way to a great way to top off my super-middleweight career,” Calzaghe said.

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