The prospect of defending his IBF super-featherweight title against Anthony Cacace a week after seeing Lauren Price become a world champion means Joe Cordina is dreaming of a new golden era for Welsh boxing.

Lee Selby and Nathan Cleverly both succeeded at the highest level in the years after the great Joe Calzaghe’s retirement, but when Calzaghe was at his peak he reigned as champion at the same time as Enzo Maccarinelli and Gavin Rees from his father Enzo’s gym.

The 32-year-old Cordina has established himself as Wales’ finest fighter since Selby – if not since Calzaghe – and Price demonstrated her potential to rival him when winning the WBA welterweight title by stopping Jessica McCaskill in nine rounds.

On Saturday at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – on the undercard of the undisputed heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk – Cordina makes the latest defence of his title against a domestic rival in Northern Ireland’s 35-year-old Cacace, but he is aware that victory on such a platform will lead to further opportunities, and it is that that he ultimately has in mind.

“That was a great era back then,” he said. “They had a group of fighters, all in the same gym, bouncing off each other. They were all under the same promoter, so it was good, because they all fought on the same shows; built each other, and came in behind each other, one by one. 

“Calzaghe, then it was Enzo, then it was Gavin Rees; Lee Selby; Nathan Cleverly; all the boys coming along after. With so many big promoters in the UK now, it’s a bit difficult, because everyone’s spread. I’m just concentrating on what I’m doing, and if that happens in the future, it happens.

“I’d love to be on the same show [as Price]. I’d love to have her; Reece Edwards; King Shepherd; Ben Crocker; Brandon Scott; all the Welsh talent together. But only me and Brandon Scott are with Matchroom. If it happens without the promoters, I don’t know how that would work, but I’m sure we could sort something. She’s done very well.

“[Against Cacace] I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do. Whether it’s stand up close and have a tear up – I’m used to that. Whether it’s boxing on the back foot – I’m used to that also. Whether it gets messy – I don’t mind that either. Whatever means necessary, I’ll get the win. It’d be lovely [to get a knockout] – early night.

“[Then] I want to move up [to lightweight]. It’s not hard making the weight, it just seems like it’s impossible to get all of the other champions into the ring. Everyone talks on social media, but when it comes down to it no one wants to take the short straw just to make that fight happen – they all want the maximum money. Don’t get me wrong – we all wanna get paid. But sometimes we have to take a little cut just to get them in the ring to get them going. Then we can ask for what we want when we’re unified champions. 

“Unfortunately everyone overprices themselves, and some of them can’t fill out their living room. It’s a bit difficult then, so I’d rather go up to lightweight, try and challenge for a belt up at lightweight and get a big name. It’s a win-win then.

“I see a tweet that [Shakur Stevenson] put out. Eddie [Hearn, my promoter] knows how to promote. That could be something – I’ll speak to Eddie, but first and foremost I gotta get the job done on Saturday.”

Cordina’s final preparations for Saturday’s fight have unfolded in the same gym in Saudi Arabia as that being used by Fury, who Cordina has therefore observed up close.

“He’s got abs – put it that way,” the Welshman said. “He’s in great nick. Pads, and shadow [boxing].

“Fury [will win]. Eight to 12, stoppage. He’ll struggle with the footwork of Usyk for the first half, and then he’ll just think, ‘I’ve gotta get on it now’, and the weight – the size – will all come into play.

“If you seen what [Daniel] Dubois done, body shot-wise to Usyk… Yeah it was on the belt, but like someone said before, Floyd Mayweather done that for years and years – hit on the belt. What’s the difference?” 

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