Kenichi Ogawa v Joe Cordina
Live on Sky Sports
Japanese warrior comes to Cardiff
Japan's Kenichi Ogawa arrives at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Saturday to defend his IBF super featherweight world title against the challenge of local fighter Joe Cordina.
This bout headlines another interesting card from Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sports and allows rising star Cordina to win a world title and bolster his career. Ogawa isn't here to make up the numbers, though and will see this trip to the UK as a chance to win new fans.
Champion makes his first defence
Tokyo's Ogawa won the vacant IBF world title in his last fight thanks to a convincing points win over South Africa's Azinga Fuzile. That bout took place at Madison Square Garden, New York, back in November on the undercard of George Kambosos Jr's win over Teofimo Lopez, lifting Kenichi to number four in the world.
The champion makes the first defence of his title with a record of 26 wins against one defeat and a draw, with 18 wins coming inside the distance. Yuki Miyoshi inflicted the sole defeat on his card in Japan, but that was early in his career, almost a decade ago, so we can't read too much into that loss.
Ogawa drew with Joe Noynay in December 2019 but has fought twice and won twice since. The pre-fight betting odds available on the Betfair Exchange has Ogawa trading at 2.56/4 for victory.
Unbeaten challenger's big chance
Cordina finally gets his crack at the big time on Saturday in front of a sell-out audience of his compatriots. The 30-year-old from Cardiff brings a professional boxing record of 14 wins from as many starts with eight stoppage victories. He's a talented prospect many believe can go to the top.
This challenge may come early in the Welshman's career, but there is no doubt that he is here on merit. The 5ft 9inch orthodox boxer hasn't put a foot wrong since debuting in 2017 with an eye-catching fourth-round TKO.
He was last seen beating Belgium's Miko Khatchatryan in Liverpool a few weeks before Christmas.
This is a step up in class for Cordina, but backers believe he's ready for it, and there will be plenty of interest in the Welshman. Cordina is priced at 1.738/11 for victory.
Cordina to impress the judges
Cordina has all the attributes of a future world champion, and it looks like his handlers have chosen the perfect fight at an ideal time to get him that belt. Looking at the champion, he hasn't ventured outside of Japan too often in his 28-fight career, and four of his last six have gone the distance.
Cordina holds all the aces here. He is unbeaten, enjoys the hometown advantage and has already proven his fitness. With four of his last five testing the judges, we're backing him for a win on points at 5/6 on the Betfair Sportsbook.