ST JOSEPH’S boxer Joe Cordina has guaranteed himself at least a Commonwealth Games bronze medal but he’s vowed to fight all the way for gold in Glasgow.
The 22-year-old from Cardiff, who trains with Tony Borg in Newport, beat Chad Milnes of New Zealand in his Glasgow 2014 quarter-final.
That means he has bagged at least a bronze with both losing semi-finalists awarded a medal, but that won’t be enough to satisfy Cordina.
“Until my national flag is up and my national anthem is playing out loud in the arena I won’t be happy,” he said.
“It’s the best shape I’ve ever been in. I can honestly say I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m not even aching after the fight.
“There’s no pressure on me. I’m here to do a job and win, lose or whatever I’ll give my best and hopefully that is good enough to win me the gold medal.”
Rugby fan Cordina was delighted to get one over on the Kiwis even if he felt he could have put in a better performance.
“It was good to beat New Zealand in the ring,” he added. “They usually get the better of Wales at rugby, so I got some revenge for my country out there.
“I didn't feel too great out there and I could have boxed a lot better but I'm in the medals now and I'll raise my game for the semi-final.”
Cordina beat Milnes via a unanimous decision from the judges, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
“He got the last round with two of the judges but I’m not concerned by that,” said Cordina. “I knew I was up and was just trying to avoid getting caught at that stage.
“I felt pretty comfortable, not quite as sharp as I usually do, but it was a comfortable performance.”
Cordina revealed that trainer Tony Borg has been on the phone from Newport this week to offer his guidance.
“Tony’s been giving me advice over the phone all week and he’ll hopefully be here to see me in the semi-finals and the final,” he said.
And the fighter also admitted that he was glad he gave up on attending cookery school and discovered the recipe for success in the boxing ring.
“I went to college to study cooking; then I found out how hard it was,” said Cordina. “It's just as well I wasn't very good at it, or else I would have enjoyed the food too much and ended up a heavyweight!”
Cordina now faces home favourite Charlie Flynn of Scotland in his semi-final on Friday night.
"I'm confident and I believe I can take anyone, any time," said Flynn after his quarter-final win over Jessie Lartey of Ghana.
"You're fighting for your country and you can feel the passion burning in your heart. It gives you extra energy. I want to prove I'm the best in front of my friends and family."
"I don't look at the tables to see where I am. I just look to take out the guy that's in front of me. Kill the crocodile that's closest to me and move on to the next one. He's in my back garden and I'm here to get tore in."