Eddie Hearn promised a night of title fights when Dmitry Bivol met Zurdo Ramirez on November 5th, and that’s exactly what we’re getting. Joe Cordina will defend his IBF super featherweight title against mandatory challenger Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and undisputed welterweight queen Jessica McCaskill will return to 140 to challenge unified champion Chantelle Cameron.
As I said back at the start of the month, this is anything but a victory lap for Cordina (15-0, 9 KO). Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13 KO) battled JoJo Diaz to a draw last year and offers a similar blend of power and pressure that many felt Kenichi Ogawa would use to give “The Welsh Wizard” everything he could handle. If Cordina can’t find another quick finish, he’s going to have to really earn this one.
“I know it’s going to be a tough fight so I’m going to be prepared for 12 hard rounds,” said Cordina. “I know I’m going to have to bite down on my gumshield and dig my toes in. It’s going to get tough in there but I’m going to be prepared for that.
“Nothing has really changed since I won the World Title back in June. My mentality is still the same, I still want to be the best in the world – I want to win more titles. I’ve reached my goal of becoming World Champion but now I’ve set new goals which include becoming a unified and undisputed World Champion.
“It’s great to be a part of the first show in Abu Dhabi. I’ve been a part of some big nights in boxing – the Joshua vs. Klitschko show in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium, Bramall Lane Stadium with Kell Brook against Errol Spence and two Joshua fights at the Principality Stadium. To be a part of another historic show is unbelievable and another one ticked off my list.”
McCaskill (12-2, 5 KO) hasn’t fought at super lightweight since a 2019 rematch against Erica Farias, as she vacated her titles and moved up to challenge Cecilia Braekhus immediately afterwards. Cameron (16-0, 8 KO) wound up claiming the WBC title with a decision over Adriana Araujo, then added the IBF belt to her trophy case by beating Mary McGee a year later. This is a really nice piece of matchmaking that should provie plenty of well-matched action.
“This fight means everything to me, for me it’s all or nothing,” said Cameron. “It’s a career-defining moment for me – this is what every boxer sets out to achieve when they turn professional. As soon as I became a World Champion, I said that the main goal was to become undisputed. To become undisputed would be my dream come true. It’s what I want to achieve in boxing.
“Jessica is a very dangerous fighter and obviously undisputed at 147lbs. She’s been there and she’s done it. She’s got that crown at 147lbs so it’s definitely going to be my toughest fight to date. I’m expecting her to come out all guns blazing. She’s going to stick in on my chest, but I’ve got a game plan A, game plan B and game plan C.
“I’ll make sure that I box how I want to box and not get caught up in a slugfest. As long as I stay switched on and do what I know I can do then this won’t be a messy fight. It’s going to be a good hard fight, but I know I’m a better all-round fighter.”
“I want to take on the biggest and best fights,” said McCaskill. “I want to dominate in multiple weight classes. It’s too easy to stay in one weight class and play it safe. Now I want to prove myself as the best junior welterweight on the planet.”