Joe Cordina stunned as Anthony Cacace takes super-featherweight world title with thrilling stoppage win

Anthony Cacace produced a statement display to take Joe Cordina’s world title (Getty Images)
Anthony Cacace produced a statement display to take Joe Cordina’s world title (Getty Images)

Anthony Cacace produced a sensational performance to stun Joe Cordina and win the IBF super-featherweight world title.

Cordina, previously unbeaten, was the favourite to retain his belt, but endured a torrid night in Riyadh as an-all action display from Belfast’s Cacace proved too much, forcing the referee to step in and wave the fight off in the eighth round.

It was the 35-year-old’s first stoppage win since 2016, but one that always appeared likely after a decisive third round. Cordina was caught with a punch on the break, but it was deemed legitimate and the Welshman was dropped by a left hook and uppercut.

Cacace went in search of an immediate stoppage, with Cordina hugely brave in making it to the end of the round despite evidently not having his legs underneath him, and it set the tone for a brutal encounter.

The pair exchanged at close range in the rounds that followed, the pattern of the fight very much to Cacace’s advantage as Cordina was caught with a number of sharp uppercuts.

The danger to the Northern Irishman was that he might tire, such was his output, but he had Cordina pinned on the ropes in the eighth and the referee had seen enough, jumping in to put an end to an absorbing contest.

Cacace added the IBF title to his IBO strap, and insisted after the the bout there was no foul play with his punch in the third round.

“No, Joe also done the same to me,” Cacace said.

“This is professional boxing. We’re in there for a fight. The referee said break as I threw a punch, and Joe threw a punch at the exact same time to the body.

“It was nothing dirty done in there, it was just professional boxing. Eat it up.”

He added: "I am in shock, no one gave me a chance to do this.

"Joe is a hell of a competitor, an Olympian and a two-time world champion. I have nothing but respect for him and I want to run it back."