Andy Townend has been having a tough time of it, outside of the ring, but John Newsome believes his opponent will be the one to struggle when the bell sounds at the O2 Arena (20th April).
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Joseph “ Joe “ Cordina, a young Cardiffonian, is that a word? Not sure, but Californian is a word so why not a kid from Cardiff being a Cardiffonian! He’s entering his 9th professional fight on a great night of Sky Sports Boxing at the 02 on 20th April 2019. Having gained a Silver Medal at the 2015 European Amateur Boxing Championship, Joe never really progressed any further in the Amateur ranks. He fought at the Rio Olympics for Team GB but was eliminated at the last 16 stage on a Split Decision and decided to turn Professional under the guidance of the mercurial Boxing Promoter “Eddie Hearn” and ”Matchroom”. After 8 straight wins, 6 by knockout, the last being against durable Sean “Masher” Dodd on points, Joe takes on the experienced Andy Townend from Barnsley.
On paper, Joe is the favourite – Matchroom golden boy from the Olympics, against a guy from Barnsley whos lost 4… dig beneath the surface, Andy Townend is a World Champion in waiting, Boxrec says Joe Cordina 8 fights, 8 wins 6 from knockouts. Andy Townend Boxrec is 22 fights, 18 wins, 4 losses, 14 from knockouts. 14?knockouts at Super Featherweight and Now Lightweight..(9stone 4lbs and 9stone 9lbs). Joe hasn’t experienced a loss yet, Andy has 4. However, again look under the surface and here are the stories behind Andy’s losses. His first loss came in his 6th professional fight, aged just 23 he took on an experienced journeyman in Dougie Curran over 6 rounds. A non-event really, Andy lost on points, not really at the races and was frustrated by Curran, but ultimately, a loss. In his 9th Professional fight, aged 24 he took on the ” boxing bin man” Rendall Monroe. Prior to fighting Andy in September 2013. Rendall had been in the ring with Toshiaki Nishioka who was WBC World Super Bantamweight Champion, Scott Quigg (twice) another World Champion and Kiko Martinez, again a former World Champion.
Andy was in his 9th Professional fight and took Monroe the full 10 rounds eventually losing on points to the experienced Leicestershire fighter, even putting the ”Bin Man” down. Townend, nicknamed ”the KO kid” for obvious reasons, took a break for 6 months after the Monroe defeat and his 3rd loss came in his return to the ring. Again he decided to fight experience in the Welshman Dai Davies. A rusty Townend lost a 6 rounder narrowly on points. Andy got back to winning ways 2 month later, stopping, yes stopping, Joe Cordina’s last opponent Sean “Masher” Dodd. Joe couldn’t stop “Masher”, Andy did!. Dodd has 5 defeats on his record, one against Scott Cardle, one against Tommy Coyle, one against Joe Cordina, one against Jordan Ellison in the twilight of his career and one against Andy Townend. Andy has knocked out both Tommy Coyle and Sean Dodd. (Tommy in the amateur game). Andy went on a knockout spree after his fight with Dodd stopping 6 out of 8 of his next opponents and beating the other 2 on points. In September 2016 the “KO Kid” fought for the British Super Featherweight Title at the O2 on the Kell Brook v Gennardy Golovkin “Super fight”.
His opponent on the night was the very talented, under rated, truly the next best prospect, Martin J Ward. Ward is superb, had never been beaten at the time of fighting Andy and truly is going to be a World Champion. Ward did his homework and comfortably beat Andy on the night, stopping the ”KO Kid” for the first time in is career, in round 8. Andy was distraught but on reflection would accept that Ward was far too experienced for him and learned a lesson. Andy hasn’t lost since. 4 defeats, all justifiable, all happened, but when you scratch the surface and re evaluate the bouts all can be explained, explained not excused. One final thought for Joe Cordina and his entourage… when Andy “the KO kid “ Townend fought Martin J Ward, probably the best Super Featherweight in the World.
Andy’s biggest fan in the world, his Grandad, had just died. He had just left his partner and ultimately had to leave his 2 year old daughter. He was homeless with not many possessions and had to find solace in a home he wasn’t used to and a friend who was 20 year older then him. While his friend supplied much-needed support, this wasn’t the ideal preparation for a fighter facing the biggest professional fight of his career, the British Title. Ultimately Martin J Ward was the better fighter on the night in the O2 but how composed and concentrated would Andy Townend have been coming into the fight without the distractions he had. Andy Townend, given the right moments in life, will be a World Champion – he just needs to believe in himself like other people believe him. Andy is back at the O2 on the 20th April fighting for the British and Commonwealth Title. One day after Andy’s 30th Birthday. What a great birthday present this will be.
Joe Cordina… Watch yourself!