Joshua vs Parker: Joe Cordina takes step up in class against Andy Townend in Cardiff
Last Updated: 13/02/18 3:41pm
Joe Cordina admits he is taking a "big step up" when he battles Andy Townend for the WBA international lightweight belt on the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker bill in Cardiff.
The former Team GB fighter has racked up six wins since turning professional and will target his first title against the experienced Townend on the undercard for Joshua's world heavyweight unification clash with Parker at the Principality Stadium on March 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Joshua vs Parker on Box Office
Sky Sports Box Office will show the heavyweight unification from Cardiff on March 31
Townend, nicknamed 'The KO kid', is a former English super-featherweight champion and Welshman Cordina admits he needs to raise his standards in front of a huge crowd in his home city.
"This is the perfect fight for me to start 2018," said Cordina. "It's a big step up for me. Andy is a proven fighter, just look at his record - there's a lot of knockouts against some decent names.
"There's no doubting he's dangerous, so I'll have to bring my A-game. I think I'm more than capable of beating him to win my first title, but I'm sure he thinks similar. It's a good fight for the fans."
Cordina fought on the undercard for Joshua's last world title win over Carlos Takam, closing out a comfortable four-round points win, although he is prepared for a more testing encounter on this occasion.
They have got to be the right fights at the right time and this is certainly one of those.
"I'm more than comfortable going the championship distance," said Cordina. "I live and train with three-weight world champion Ricky Burns, who is such an inspiration. Whatever he does, I do. You ask anyone how hard he trains and I'm holding my own fitness wise.
"It'll be great to fight at the Principality Stadium again. I didn't really have time to soak it all in last time, but I'm grateful looking back I fought in front of so many people. I can look back with a smile and say I've boxed in front of 70,000 plus. To fight there twice is a massive and proud experience.
"I don't want to be chucked in to any old fights. They have got to be the right fights at the right time and this is certainly one of those. When my trainer Tony Sims says it's time to come off the leash and push on, we'll do so."
In the main event, Joshua will put his WBA 'super' and IBF belts at stake against WBO title-holder Parker in a battle of two unbeaten champions.
Alexander Povetkin, a potential future opponent for Joshua, will also appear on the undercard as he battles Britain's David Price.
Burnett added to AJ bill
Ryan Burnett defends WBA belt on exciting undercard for Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker in Cardiff
And Ryan Burnett defends his WBA 'super' bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Yonfrez Parejo.
Watch the Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker world heavyweight title unification fight, from Principality Stadium, Cardiff, on March 31, live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office.