Joe Cordina is set to fight for the first time since late 2019 on Saturday, when he returns to take on Faroukh Kourbanov on the Okolie-Glowacki card (DAZN, March 20, 3 pm ET).
The 29-year-old Cordina (11-0, 7 KO) will be returning from a hand injury, his last fight a win over tough Mario Enrique Tinoco in Nov. 2019 in Monte Carlo. He admits the hand injury has been a frustration and setback, but now feels comfortable working in the gym.
“When I first injured my hand, I didn’t think it was going to get back to normal,” said Cordina. “But now I’m back training, using it and letting it go. I haven’t had any problems with it at all.
“It was always at the back of my mind, ‘Is it going to be the same as it was before the injury?’ But I’ve come back and I’m just looking to move on and pick up where I left off. I’m looking forward to putting the division on notice.”
We know well that promoter Eddie Hearn has very high hopes for Cordina, recently saying that he’s felt Cordina would win a world title ever since he saw him in the amateurs. And that is Cordina’s goal by the end of 2021, with Kourbanov (17-2, 3 KO) the first step toward possibly fighting for a 130-pound belt.
“I’ve watched Kourbanov and he’s a good fighter. He’s only lost to European champions. My goal is to become a world champion, and I’m not going to stop until I get there,” he said.
“He’s quite a neat boxer. He’s not a big puncher going off his record but that’s not saying he can’t punch. He’s been in with some good opposition and he’s lost to good opposition. He’s from Kyrgyzstan boxing out of Belgium, normally they’re good amateurs. I can’t take his boxing skills for granted and think he’s going to be an easy touch.
“I’m looking forward to it because I know it’s going to be a tough fight. It’s going to be a fight that gets me back into the swing of things. That’s what I want. I don’t want easy fights. I want to be fighting for a world title by the end of this year. I need someone like Kourbanov to bring the best out of me.”