Sandy Ryan Clashes With Marie-Pier Houle
For Vacant WBO Welterweight Title April 22nd!
(February 28th) Sandy Ryan will clash with Marie-Pier Houle for the vacant WBO Welterweight Title on the undercard of Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina at the Cardiff International Arena on Saturday April 22, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
Derby's Ryan (5-1, 2 KOs) was last in action at Wembley's OVO Arena last November, outpointing Argentina's Anahi Ester Sanchez over ten rounds in the first defence of her WBC International Super-Lightweight Title.
The former Team GB star, who avenged her one and only loss to former World Champion Erica Anabella Farias at the Sheffield Arena last summer, steps up to 147lbs as she bids to become Britain's latest World Champion.
Canada's Houle (8-0-1, 2 KOs) has yet to taste defeat since joining the professional ranks back in June 2019, contesting all but one of her nine pro fights in her homeland, and the 32-year-old from Quebec is promising to inflict Ryan's second defeat in the pros.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be challenging for a World Title in my next fight,” said Ryan. “The level of opponents I’ve faced since my debut proved how serious I am about becoming a big star in this sport.
“We respect Marie-Pier for accepting the fight when many didn’t and I’m ready to become a World Champion on April 22 in Cardiff. I want to give a shout to my team, Matchroom, my trainer Clifton and my manager Paul Ready for working hard on this.”
"This fight represents the culmination of my hard work since the beginning of my career,” said Houle. “It's a huge opportunity for me to demonstrate the strength of character and perseverance that I have acquired over the years.
“I have a lot of respect for Sandy Ryan and I'm aware that it will be a tough fight, but I thrive on challenges, and I have no intention of leaving empty-handed. I would like to thank my promoter, Groupe Yvon Michel, for his trust in me."
"I would like to thank Matchroom for this opportunity,” said Yvon Michel. “Marie-Pier Houle is ready to deliver an epic fight against Sandy Ryan on April 22 in Cardiff. We are proud to represent her and have full confidence in her abilities to conquer the WBO Welterweight World Championship Title. We will be there to support her every step of the way and we are convinced that she will give it her all in the ring to secure the victory."
Ryan vs. Houle is part of a huge night of World Title action in Cardiff, Tajikistan’s Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (17-0-1, 14 KOs) defends his IBF Super-Featherweight World Title against Welshman Joe Cordina (15-0, 9 KOs) in the main event, Welsh rivals Gavin Gwynne (15-2-1, 3 KOs) and Craig Woodruff (12-6-1, 4 KOs) rematch for the British Lightweight Title following their thrilling draw at the Bolton Whites Hotel last September, World Title challenger Zelfa Barrett (28-2, 16 KOs) faces Alex Dilmaghani (20-2-1, 7 KOs) for the vacant WBA Continental Super-Featherweight Title, Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson (14-0, 11 KOs) puts his IBF European Title on the line against Swindon’s Luke Watkins (16-2, 11 KOs), plus there's action for Swansea Featherweight Brandon Scott (4-0, 1 KO) and Swansea Light-Heavyweight Sammy Lee (1-0).
Tickets for Rakhimov vs. Cordina are priced £40, £60, £100, £150 and £300 (VIP).
General Sale tickets can be purchased via Stage Front and the Cardiff International Arena (cardiffinternationalarena.co.uk) NOW.
Rakhimov Defends IBF Super-Featherweight Crown
Against Cordian April 22nd, ‘The Welsh Wizard’
Returns To The Cardiff International Arena!
Joe Cordina has the opportunity to become a two-time IBF Super-Featherweight World Champion when he faces current belt-holder Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in what promises to be an electric night of boxing at the Cardiff International Arena on Saturday April 22, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
‘The Welsh Wizard’ (15-0, 9 KOs) captured the famous red and gold belt with a stunning one-punch knockout of Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa on a memorable night at the arena last June to become his country’s latest World Champion.
Cordina was scheduled to make the first defence of his World Title against Rakhimov in Abu Dhabi last November but suffered a hand injury that required surgery and was subsequently stripped of his title by the IBF.
Tajikistan’s Rakhimov (17-0-1, 14 KOs) won the vacant title by stopping Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett in nine rounds on the undercard of Dmitry Bivol vs. Gilberto Ramirez, and the 28-year-old southpaw is relishing the challenge of defending his crown in Cordina’s backyard.
Welsh rivals Gavin Gwynne (15-2-1, 3 KOs) and Craig Woodruff (12-6-1, 4 KOs) will rematch for the British Lightweight Title following their thrilling draw at the Bolton Whites Hotel last September and Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson (14-0, 11 KOs) puts his IBF European Title on the line against Swindon’s Luke Watkins (16-2, 11 KOs) – with more undercard fights to be announced soon.
“I saw Rakhimov in Abu Dhabi and he’s certainly a good fighter,” said Cordina. “I respect him, he’s strong and tough but you need to have a more than that to beat me. I never lost my belt in the ring, so my mindset is that I’m going to be walking in as the champion and leaving as the champion. Last time out the fans were unreal, and I can’t wait to experience that incredible atmosphere again in Cardiff.”
“I cannot wait for Rakhimov against Cordina at the Cardiff International Arena,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “Last time out it was an incredible night as Joe was crowned the new IBF Super-Featherweight World Champion with a sensational one-punch knockout win over Ogawa – this time it’s going to be even bigger and better.
“This is a massive night for Welsh boxing and for Joe Cordina. He has a straight shot to become a two-time World Champion without ever losing his belt in the ring. We saw Rakhimov in an unbelievable fight with Zelfa Barrett in Abu Dhabi and I’m expecting another great fight on April 22.
“Gavin Gwynne puts his British Lightweight Title on the line for the second time against Newport’s Craig Woodruff following their thrilling draw in September and Manchester Cruiserweight contender Jordan Thompson returns as he puts his IBF European Title on the line against Swindon’s Luke Watkins. There’s plenty more to come as we gear up for another electric night in Cardiff!”
About DAZN Group
DAZN Group is one of the fastest growing sports media companies in the world. Headquartered in the UK and with employees in over 25 countries, our businesses touch every aspect of the way fans engage with sports; from production, through to content distribution and commercialisation. DAZN Group is home to DAZN, the leading global sport destination, as well as the popular sport portal, DAZN News. DAZN is leading the charge to give sports fans around the world access to sport anytime, anywhere. DAZN guarantees affordable access on most connected devices including smart TVs, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, smartphones, tablets, PCs and game consoles. DAZN is now live in more than 200 countries and territories after first launching in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan in 2016.
About Matchroom Boxing
After the success of snooker in the 1980s, Matchroom Sport moved into boxing with two small hall shows followed by Frank Bruno v Joe Bugner at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground – the biggest boxing event of 1987. That launched the company into the boxing big-time, a position it has maintained ever since.
Through the 1990s Matchroom Sport’s boxing roster featured many of the biggest names in the sport including Lennox Lewis, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins and Naseem Hamed, all in world title fights and it continues to work with some of the biggest names in UK boxing including Audley Harrison, the 2000 Olympic Super-Heavyweight gold medalist.
Over the years, Matchroom Sport has built up long-standing relationships with broadcasters around the world and with the advent of the Prizefighter phenomenon, the company’s boxing division has never been in a stronger position.
From fantastic six round scraps between the sport’s journeymen, up to multi-million-dollar World Championship contests featuring the above fighters, the Pro Box series has it all. Each show is packed with the very best in boxing action in a series that encompasses almost 25 years of Matchroom Sport’s commitment to bringing the highest quality to the global television market.