Joe Cordina provided a photograph of his injury on Tuesday as the IBF ruled his hard-earned super-featherweight title was now vacant.
Details began to emerge from the side of the Welshman as the International Boxing Federation made a difficult decision.
Cordina took to social media to express his dismay at no longer holding a world championship. There was no way he could go ahead with a stipulated mandatory defense against Shavkat Rakhimov due to surgery on his hand.
“Absolutely gutted,” said Cordina. “Worked my whole life to become a world champion.
“I haven’t even had the chance to defend the title. I feel like I’ve been robbed.”
Why did Joe Cordina get stripped of the IBF title?
As British fans were disgusted by the IBF’s ruling, World Boxing News received an official statement from the sanctioning body.
The IBF revealed further information to back up their relieving of Cordina’s belt.
“On May 3, 2022, the IBF notified Matchroom Boxing and Team Rakhimov, acknowledging that an agreement had been reached for IBF super-featherweight champion Kenichi Ogawa to participate in an optional defense of the title against Joe Cordina on June 4, 2022.
“The decision came after the IBF denied an exception request to do so. The IBF sanctioned the Ogawa vs. Cordina bout with the following pertinent conditions:
“1. The IBF will not sanction any bouts to delay further the mandatory defense of the title, including requests for unification bouts. Nor will the IBF grant any further exception requests.
“2. From June 4, 2022, the winner must make a mandatory defense of the title against Shavkat Rakhimov within 90 days or by September 2, 2022.
“On July 7, 2022, the IBF granted Joseph Cordina a medical extension. This allowed the fight to be rescheduled for November 5, 2022, in the UAE.
“On September 21, 2022, the IBF received an email from Matchroom Boxing stating:
“Unfortunately, Joseph Cordina has sustained an injury in training. He will be forced to postpone his mandatory defense of the IBF super featherweight title against Shavkat Rakhimov.
“The fight was scheduled for November 5 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.”
Cordina hand exception
The IBF continued: “In a letter dated September 21, 2022, Consultant Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon Mike Hayton wrote that Joseph Cordina’s “Return to boxing will be no sooner than four months post-surgery.”
“Based on Dr. Hayton’s letter, Joseph Cordina would not return to boxing until approximately March 2023. Joseph Cordina’s 60-day medical extension for this injury will expire on January 4, 2023. Two months prior to Mr. Cordina’s estimated return to boxing.
“To postpone the Cordina vs. Rakhimov bout any further, Mr. Cordina would need to seek and be granted an exception pursuant to IBF Rule 11.
“However, on the conditions of May 3, 2022, IBF communication stated that the IBF will not grant any further exception requests.
“Additionally, Rule 11 J states in part:
“A reigning Champion shall not be permitted to request more than one exception to delay a mandatory obligation.”
The IBF has declared the IBF super featherweight title vacant as a result.