Joe Cordina cruises to straightforward win on Cardiff homecoming

Joe Cordina cruises to straightforward win on Cardiff homecoming

Cardiff’s Joe Cordina (5-0, 4KO) eventually made his homecoming with an easy 40-35 decision over late replacement Lesther Cantillano (3-9, 2KO) to warm a packed Principality Stadium up for Anthony Joshua’s (19-0, 19KO) IBF and WBA world title defence against Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27KO).

After a frustrating week, when an opponent was named very late and matchmakers were unable to secure a title fight as planned, Cordina was able to take it out on Cantillano. As all but one of the proceeding fights was extended to the final bell, so Cordina’s bout was then cut to four rounds and not shown as part of the Sky Sports Box Office broadcast as they instead decided to preview the headliner.

The Welshman was fighting in his home country for the first time since 2014 and it was his first appearance in his city since turning professional earlier this year. Nearly 80,000 fans were in attendance by the time of his fight and they enjoyed a clinical performance.

As usual, Cordina began sharply and he was tasked with pinning Cantillano down. The visitor darted around the ring, obviously (and understandably) unwilling to stay as a still sitting target. By the end of the opener, Cordina had closed the distance and comfortably switched stances.

Cordina was unrelenting and he was rarely more than a metre away from Cantillano, who eventually succumbed in the second round when he found himself on the floor courtesy of a thumping body shot that drew applause and cheers from the crowd.

As the only Welshman on the Matchroom Boxing show, a tense Cordina approach could have been forgiven but the ‘Wizard’ remained relaxed and didn’t go hunting for the finish. Instead, he restarted with straight shots and attempted to push Cantillano towards the edges of the ring, where he was happy to reside.

In the closing round, Cordina was happy to try new things, switching stances and leading with his backhand. Cantillano attempted to catch up with Cordina, who was too fleet of foot to be troubled. By the close of the final round, normal service had resumed and Cordina was dishing out repeated two-fisted flurries.

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