Undercard Cordina v Ogawa: 5 boxers to watch, including the prospect who seduced Jones Jr | Boxing | sport
Joe Cordina will be hoping to strike gold this weekend as he takes on defending champion Kenichi Ogawa for the IBF super featherweight title in his hometown of Cardiff. The former Olympic and European gold medalist, now 30, has the opportunity to become the thirteenth Welsh boxer to win a world title on Saturday at the Motorpoint Arena.
The champ, Ogawa, will look to pull off his second defense of the red strap as unification bouts against Shakur Stevenson and Roger Gutierrez loom. But below the main event is an under-map full of talented fighters, many of whom have flown under the radar. Here, Express Sport counts down five boxers to watch on the Ogawa vs. Cordina undercard.
Kyran Jones is a name few will be familiar with in action this weekend, but the recently turned pro was one of Wales’ top amateurs before giving up the vest. Prior to his professional debut in September last year, Kyran was a 10-time Welsh champion, with more than 60 international fights and appearances at three European Championships, a World Youth Championship and the Olympics. Commonwealth of 2018.
Highlighted for his speed and punching combination, Jones is perfect as a pro at 3-0 after earning his first pro stoppage win in his last outing against Stanko Jermelic. At 24, the Caerphilly boxer is only going to get better, and under the watchful eye of trainer Gary Lockett, he is expected to do great things in the sport. He faces this Saturday the Russian companion Vasif Mamedov.
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Commonwealth gold medalist Skye Nicolson has set the boxing world on fire since making her professional debut in March this year. The Aussie, now 3-0 as a pro, is one of the busiest boxers on the circuit at the moment, having taken no more than five weeks between fights since her debut with Matchroom Boxing – and has wowed the legendary Roy Jones Jr with his skills. .
Nicolson sent Jones Jr a video of herself working out on Instagram in April and revealed the former pound-for-pound star replied that she “blew her socks off.” Nicolson notches an impressive 107-33 amateur record and won a bronze medal at the World Championships to go along with his Commonwealth gold medal as an amateur. The 26-year-old is being pushed hard by Eddie Hearn and for good reason. Nicholson will face former world champion Gabriela Bouvier under the card in what could be her decisive fight.
Former English welterweight champion Dalton Smith has had a frustrating career as a professional so far. At 9-0, the Sheffield boxer has steadily pursued a British title fight to no avail despite displaying a more than worthy skill set.
As an amateur, Dalton won a silver medal at the 2014 European Youth Championships and bronze at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games as well as a gold medal at the 2018 ABA Championship at welterweight. light. A late addition to the card, Smith takes on Mauro Perouene in Cardiff during a three-and-a-half-week camp.
A co-main event half, Zelfa Barrett has always been touted for big things. The 27-1 professional was regularly seen on Britain’s top prospect lists for the first four years of his professional career, but a loss to Ronnie Clark in 2018 dampened hopes. Now on a career resurgence, Barrett has beaten former world champion Kiko Martinez and World Championship bronze medalist Viorel Simion since suffering the first loss of his career. This weekend, he hopes to win the European super featherweight title against defending champion Faroukh Kourbanov.
Gateshead’s Calum French is the latest talent to emerge from the North East of England. Noted for his selection of ringcraft and punches, French is another name that will be new to most boxing fans. As an amateur he won bronze at the European Championships and silver at the EU Championships, but his failure to compete at the last Olympics caused him to turn around with Hearn. Apparently destined for Tokyo 2020, he was propelled into the light welterweight spot by Luke McCormack. French faces Spanish journeyman Gadatamen Taylor this weekend in his third professional outing.