05 Nov

Cordina successfully defends title in a closely-fought match. Is unification next?

On November 4th in Monte Carlo, British boxer Joe Cordina (17-0, 9 KOs) defended his IBF world title in the super featherweight division against American Edward Vazquez (15-1, 3 KOs). It turned out to be a more competitive bout than expected, despite Cordina being the 1 to 8 favorite. This fight stood out as one of the best in early November.

Vazquez had promised to apply continuous pressure on Cordina, but that didn't materialize.

Nevertheless, the fight remained intriguing. Prior to the bout, Edward Vazquez had mentioned that his motivation to win was inspired by former world champion Paulie Ayala, who advised him to enter the ring as if he had already lost the first two rounds. Vazquez pledged to do so, but it didn't quite go that way from the opening seconds.

Cordina engaged in a power struggle, began to overpower the challenger, and the difference in punching power became evident immediately. However, Vazquez did not back down. His body defense skillfully neutralized some of the champion's attacks, and his rapid counterpunches looked impressive.

The fight quickly transitioned from continuous exchanges to tactical long-distance encounters, mostly initiated by the champion, who dictated the terms. However, the challenger also made the most of the close range, working persistently and accurately, often outworking his opponent.

It was a fight where the fighters didn't slow down until the final bell, and a draw wouldn't have been an unfair result.!The judges' decisions were 114-114 and twice 116-112 in favor of the champion.

Statistics of the bout, according to Compubox:

Of Cordina's 170 punches that landed, 143 were power shots. For example, Compubox recorded only 27 accurate jabs.

Out of Vazquez's 164 punches landed, 128 were power shots. Compubox also noted only 36 accurate jabs.

Judges' notes:

Matchroom Boxing provided judges' notes immediately after the fight. In all three, Cordina took the initial three rounds, but opinions diverged afterward.

Edward Vazquez wants a rematch, while Cordina suggests he might change weight divisions.

Edward Vazquez disagreed with the judges' decision and stated right after the fight that he's ready for a rematch with the champion.

However, is Cordina ready for it? Even before the fight, Joe mentioned that he was physically prepared to move up to lightweight. But this weight class also has some unanswered questions, like a bout against Emmanuel Navarrete, the WBO champion, or O'Shak Foster, who recently defended the WBC title with an early victory.

It seems that Joe is more interested in facing current champions than having a rematch against a challenging contender.