Tuesday, December 05, 2023  |



Joe Cordina outpoints Edward Vazquez via majority decision, retains IBF 130-pound title

Joe Cordina defended his IBF 130-pound title for the first time on Nov. 4, 2023. Photo: @MatchroomBoxing
Fighters Network

Joe Cordina made the first defense of his IBF 130-pound title with a competitive majority decision over Edwaard Vazquez on Saturday in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Cordina (17-0, 9 KOs), The Ring’s No. 4-rated junior lightweight, won by two scores of 116-112 and 114-114 after 12 rounds of a tit-for-tat tactical match that many observers thought could have gone either way. During the early rounds, the 31-year-old defending beltholder from Wales boxed off the front foot while the 28-year-old challenger from Fort Worth, Texas, boxed effectively off the back foot.

However, in the sixth round, Vazquez (15-2, 3 KOs) backed Cordina to the ropes and outworked the odds favorite. Cordina bounced back in Round 7 by reestablishing his jab, controlling the distance and staying off the ropes. Vazquez stepped up his pressure in Round 8 but Cordina remained in control by punching on the fly and being a little shaper during exchanges.

Vazquez, to his credit, exhibited world class technique. He boxed out of a tight guard, timed his overhand right to perfection and was the busier fighter in close (especially when Cordina was up against the ropes) without wasting punches or presenting an open target.

Edward Vazquez (L) landed his share of clean shots on Joe Cordina (like this left hook) during their hotly contested IBF title bout. Photo: @MatchroomBoxing

After the fight, Cordina admitted that his corner viewed the fight as “level” after 10 rounds, and he knew he had to rally to keep his belt. Vazquez met his aggression head on in Round 11, but Cordina had the slight edge in the final stanza.

“I didn’t have to work hard to get the win,” Cordina said during his post-fight interview on DAZN, which streamed the fight live. “He was a tricky, cute, clever fighter. He said no excuses [at the final presser], so I don’t want to hear excuses from him. I won. There’s no marks on my face, there’s marks on his.”

Vazquez accepted the loss but still thought he should have won the fight. He doesn’t think Cordina has what it takes to compete with the best of the 130-pound division.

“Everyone knows I won,” Vazquez said. “But I’m not going to trip on it. I’ll be back.

“[Cordina] wasn’t able to do anything of the things he said he would against me. He has no power. All the other 130 [pound titleholders] will walk through this guy.”

WBO beltholder Emanuel Navarrete, The Ring’s No. 1-rated junior lightweight, and WBC titleholder O’Shaquie Foster (No. 3) have both stated that they want unification bouts with Cordina. Even former titleholder Jamel Herring, who returns to the ring next Tuesday, has targeted the Welshman.

In the co-featured bout of the Matchroom Boxing event, Adrien Curiel (24-4-1, 5 KOs) seized the IBF 108-pound title with a one-punch KO of defending beltholder (and odds favorite) Sivenathi Nontshinga (12-1, 9 KOs) in the second round.

Nontshinga, of South Africa, entered the bout as The Ring’s No. 2-rated junior flyweight. Curiel, of Mexico, was unrated by The Ring.


Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s or Doug’s IG Live most Sundays.