Beneath the cheeky charm and Colgate smile there is a steely resolve about Joe Cordina which suggests that the Cardiff lightweight will do full justice to what is probably the biggest pure talent to evolve from the Principality since another JC (undefeated from Newbridge). With his pro CV yet to hit double figures, the 27-year-old former European amateur champion and Rio Olympian has already snared Commonwealth and British 135lbs titles plus a world ranking with the IBF. On a rare visit home to the Welsh capital, to model Armani’s EA7 range, Boxing News sat down with the “Welsh Wizard” to discuss what he’s done and where he’s heading.
You were a fighter long before you became a boxer at 16…
[Laughs] True. I was a “chopsy” kid but never a bully, never looked for it. I was one of them if it came to me, I wouldn’t shy away. At a young age, my old man said to me, “Anyone pushes you, comes within a foot, throw the first dig and they won’t come back again.” That was my mentality. Playing rugby, I was always the smallest boy on the pitch and bigger boys viewed me as an easy target. Little did they know it was worst thing they could do. If they walked towards me, I’d let my hands go. I think I was sent off eight times one season. Then my old man would go mad at me…it had gone beyond a joke! The discipline in boxing helped me mellow down. I got all my energy out in the gym.
To what extent did your extended international amateur experiences help accelerate you through your pro apprenticeship?