Joe Cordina surprised a lot of people on Saturday in Cardiff, Wales, knocking out Kenichi Ogawa in the second round to take the IBF junior lightweight title in triumphant fashion, a fight that delivered on all the promise some felt Cordina may have lost in the last few years.
Cordina (15-0, 9 KO) got some words of respect on Twitter from Shakur Stevenson, who holds the WBC and WBO titles at 130 lbs, and is generally considered the top dog in the division.
Shakur even mentioned that he’d be willing to go overseas for a unification:
Told y’all he the best fighter @ 130 from England.. I would love to come to England for some tho champ congrats @JoeCordina_91— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) June 4, 2022
You do have to forgive Shakur for saying England, perhaps, as Cordina is Welsh. It’s a confusing thing for some Americans. And probably for some people elsewhere, too. Not me, because I’m a dork.
Cordina was quick to reply, and show his own interest in the possibility:
Respect bro— Joe Cordina OLY (@JoeCordina_91) June 5, 2022
Enjoy my break and we’ll talk soon for sure
In all reality, while 24 hours ago nobody was thinking of Stevenson vs Cordina as some “must” fight or anything, it’s probably the best fight you can do at 130 now for Stevenson. Promoter Bob Arum has mentioned some interest in having Stevenson face WBA titleholder Roger Gutierrez, but that could just be because Gutierrez is promoted by Golden Boy, and those companies make fights together pretty easily.
Top Rank and Matchroom, on the other hand, not always so easily. And Arum may not want to send one of his company’s prized young talents — and an ESPN favorite — overseas for a fight with Cordina.
Of course, it could also be done in the U.S., but with all of that it’s just wait and see, very early in any potential conversation.
Gutierrez, for what it’s worth, is slated to face mandatory challenger Hector Garcia on July 10.