Joe Cordina will look to regain the title he never lost in the ring, when he takes on the undefeated IBF world super-featherweight champion Shavkat Rakhimov at the Cardiff International Arena this Saturday night.
Cordina is coming off the biggest win of his career after knocking out Kenichi Ogawa in spectacular fashion last June . The fighter from Cardiff is undefeated inside a boxing ring as a professional. He has a habit of stopping his opponents, this can be seen by his 60% knockout rate.
Cordina has a strong amateur pedigree which suggests that he is technically sound. After he won the belt from Ogawa, Cordina was forced to vacate his title due to injury. This has resulted in a narrative that Cordina is going to retake his place at the top. The odds reflect this as Cordina goes into the contest as a slight favourite at 4/11 on Paddy Power.
Looking at Cordina’s opponent Rakhimov, he is coming off a win against Zelfa Barrett. (who features on the bill in his return) Like Cordina, Rakhimov is an undefeated fighter with a record of 17-0-1. He has only gone the distance three times in his career, Rakhimov has a 77.78% knockout rate.
The Tajikistani fighter had to overcome some adversity in his last fight. Rakhimov was knockdown by Barrett in the third round but he came back to stop the Mancunian after Barrett suffered an injury. This suggests that he has a strong mentality as he managed to comeback after being down in a fight.
From a betting aspect it is a very interesting matchup, the reason for this is that the odds are extremely close. As previously stated, Cordina is the betting favourite but only slightly at 4/11. When breaking down the odds, if you bet a pound on Rakhimov who came in at 21/10 you would get £3.10 back. If you were to put a pound on Cordina you would get £1.36.
The odds on Rakhimov to win by points are good as he has shown that he is a very durable fighter. You could argue that Rakhimov’s best route to victory is by points, as it is going to be difficult to stop Cordina in Cardiff. However, if you like putting money on a knockout, expect one in the later rounds. This is because both fighters have history of getting knockouts which means they may be defensive in the early stages of the fight.
Best Bet- Fight to go the distance- 4/6
Value Bet- Rakhimov to win by decisions– 6/1
Longshot Cordina to win in round 10 to 12- 10/1