Joe Cordina wins Commonwealth lightweight title with unanimous points win against Sean Dodd

JOE CORDINA needed a learning fight – and he certainly got it as he saw off gritty Sean Dodd to win the Commonwealth lightweight title tonight.

It was by far the Welsh boxer's toughest test on paper so far against the gritty Birkenhead 'Masher' at the Ice Arena in Cardiff.

 Joe Cordina has won the Commonwealth lightweight title in just his eighth fight

Lawrence Lustig
5
Joe Cordina has won the Commonwealth lightweight title in just his eighth fight

The judges gave it 120-109, 117-112, 120-109 to Cordina, and while it was clear he had secured a comfortable points victory, he will certainly feel he's put a shift in in the morning.

Dodd may have only had 19 contests but he used all of his 34 years to spoil, frustrate and rough-up 26-year-old Cordina the best he could.

And let's not forget, it was only the Cardiff talent's eighth bout as a pro after signing with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable.

Dodd was coming off the back of a sixth-round KO defeat against Tommy Coyle for the belt that was on the line tonight.

 Joe Cordina may have won a wide points decision, but he certainly didn't have things all his own way against Sean Dodd

Lawrence Lustig
5
Joe Cordina may have won a wide points decision, but he certainly didn't have things all his own way against Sean Dodd
 It was the first time Joe Cordina was taken the distance, but it will do him wonders in the long run

Lawrence Lustig
5
It was the first time Joe Cordina was taken the distance, but it will do him wonders in the long run

Coyle gave it up weeks after winning it as he plans to move up to super-lightweight.

Cordina used the opening three rounds to show off his angles against his 34-year-old opponent, but neither boxer had landed that telling blow yet.

The fourth round will have given Dodd some confidence that he could perhaps spring a shock, as he frustrated his younger opponent.

For the first time in his pro career, Rio Olympian Cordina was taken into the fifth.

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But he started unchartered territory well, rocking in with a nice combo that pushed Dodd back onto the ropes.

Cordina then beckoned Dodd to stand toe-to-toe – clearly not what the underdog should be doing.

But despite the more experienced man holding a tight defence, Cordina finally started to land some heavier shots to body and head.

Into the sixth we went – and the round where Dodd came undone in his last fight against Coyle.

But there was to be no repeat, despite Cordina stepping up the speed – much to the delight of his hometown fans ringside.

But the seventh and eighth rounds were frustrating for Cordina. He was trying to land the cleaner shots but Dodd seemed happy enough to take them and bundle forward.

 Joe Cordina added the Commonwealth lightweight title to his WBA International lightweight title

Lawrence Lustig
5
Joe Cordina added the Commonwealth lightweight title to his WBA International lightweight title
 Sean 'Masher' Dodd gave Joe Cordina a tough night in the ring, despite two judges scoring it wide

Lawrence Lustig
5
Sean 'Masher' Dodd gave Joe Cordina a tough night in the ring, despite two judges scoring it wide

Dodd decided his best chance would be to get in close, and these tactics were clearly not how Cordina wanted to box.

Dodd's head bundled in time after time in the ninth, matched by some snappy uppercuts. Cordina could not adjust to these scrappy tactics.

But the 10th and 11th turned back into Cordina's favour, as Dod visibly tired, and at times became a punchbag.

He still managed to throw in a few taunts however, lifting his arms in the air on two occasions as if to say his younger opponent couldn't hurt him.

The 12th flattered to deceive. Dodd, who must have known he was a long way behind on the cards, was a spent force in there, and simply lacked the power to hurt Cordina.

Cordina, in truth, looked like he had put a fair shift in, and preferred not to waste any more punches as he saw out the victory.

JOE CORDINA needed a learning fight – and he certainly got it as he saw off gritty Sean Dodd to win the Commonwealth lightweight title tonight.