Recently-crowned IBF featherweight champion Joe Cordina has been stripped of his world title after he was forced to pull out of a clash with mandatory Shavkat Rakhimov.
Cordina blasted through Kenichi Ogowa inside two rounds in June to pickup the IBF belt in Cardiff, with Matchroom Boxing [Cordina’s promoter] paying Rakhimov step-aside money prior to the bout to allow the fight to take place. Rakhimov was guaranteed a shot at the winner next and, since Cordina will no longer be able to fight on November 5th in Abu Dhabi [when the bout was scheduled to take place], the IBF have stripped the thirty-year-old of his title. While not confirmed at the time of writing, Cordina will surely be first in line to face the winner for the strap once his injury has healed.
ESPN‘s Mike Coppinger first broke the news that Cordina had suffered an injury to his hand which required surgery, thus ruling the Welshman out of a clash with Rakhimov, with it now expected that the Tajikstani will face Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett for the vacant strap at some point in the near future.