Cordina reaches medal stages at European Championships with his biggest win ever

Cordina reaches medal stages at European Championships with his biggest win ever

Yesterday, Cardiff’s Joe Cordina reached the semi-finals of the European Championships and secured at least a bronze medal. The lightweight (60KG) secured the best result of his career so far by forcing the referee and ringside doctor to stop Italy’s Domenico Valentino, the pre-tournament number one seed, in the opening round of their quarter-final. Victory over Valentino, a veteran of the international scene having competed at three Olympic Games and medalled at five World Championships, is arguably the best win by a Welsh amateur boxer since Andrew Selby defeated Ireland’s Mick Conlan in the final of the 2013 European Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Cordina, who has only recently returned from a fractured hand suffered in the World Series of Boxing [WSB], is also likely to gate crash the International Boxing Association’s [AIBA] world rankings. AIBA, who govern the sport globally, previously ranked Valentino as the eighth best lightweight in the world, while Cordina didn’t feature in the top 40 boxers in the weight category. The 23-year-old has only been boxing for eight years and he’s Wales’ only representative in Team GB’s squad. Cordina has now qualified for the World Championships in October at Qatar’s city of Doha, which will also serve as a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Cordina, who splits his training time between the Elite Institute of Sport in Sheffield and St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport, will now look to go one step further than he did at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he collected a bronze medal. The Welshman endured an exhausting run in Scotland, overcoming England’s Pat McCormack and Canada’s David Gauthier before losing to hometown hero Charlie Flynn, the hometown hero who would go on to win gold. This week in Bulgaria, Cordina’s route to the tournament medal stages hasn’t been easy but it certainly hasn’t been as tiring. Cordina started by routinely out-pointing Hungary’s Roland Galos and Poland’s Dawid Michelus. Cordina will face Holland’s Enrico La Cruz in the semi-finals and should he reach the final, it will be televised on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). A total of six Team GB representatives have reached the semi-finals.

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