Boxing fans began to take notice of Joe Cordina’s power after his vicious second-round knockout of Kenichi Ogawa and his knockdown of Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in back-to-back bouts before he encountered Edward Vazquez on Saturday night.
Vazquez wasn’t the least bit impressed, however, with Cordina’s power during a closely contested 12-round, 130-pound title fight Cordina won by majority decision at Casino de Monte Carlo in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The challenger only has three knockouts on his own record, but Vazquez predicted during a spirited post-fight exchange with the IBF junior lightweight champion that Cordina will have difficulty fending off WBC champ O’Shaquie Foster or WBO champ Emanuel Navarrete in title unification fights that Cordina’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has mentioned as potential options for “The Welsh Wizard.”
“He had no power,” Vazquez said. “All the other 130s will walk through this guy. This guy got no power. You shoulda saw him at the weigh-in. He was dry as sh!t! This is probably his last fight at 130. And if he does come back down to 130, O’Shaquie Foster, Rocky Hernandez, Navarrete will walk straight through this guy.”
Mexico City’s Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez (34-2, 31 KOs) was winning on two scorecards when Houston’s Foster (21-2, 12 KOs) rallied in the 11th and 12th rounds and stopped him with 22 seconds to go in their 12-round, 130-pound championship clash October 28 in Cancun. Mexico’s Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) is scheduled to defend his WBO junior lightweight title November 16, when he’ll battle Brazil’s Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs, 1 NC) on the Shakur Stevenson-Edwin De Los Santos undercard at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Cardiff’s Cordina (17-0, 9 KOs) was a 14-1 favorite versus Vazquez (15-2, 3 KOs), but he had difficulty dealing with the crafty underdog from Fort Worth, Texas.
Cordina nonetheless won eight rounds apiece according to judges Deon Dwarte and Jean-Robert Laine, both of whom scored him a 116-112 winner. Judge Jeremy Hayes scored their thoroughly competitive contest a draw, 114-114.
Vazquez disputed the decision, but Cordina contended that his opponent simply caught him on an off night.
“No, not at all,” Cordina replied when asked if he was bothered by Vazquez’s assessment of his power. “I’ve proved it time and time again. If you can’t beat me on my worst night, f——- hell! He got no hope, especially at 130.”
Vazquez interjected and dismissed Cordina’s claim that he wasn’t at his best during a main event DAZN streamed worldwide.
“Oh, it’s his worst night now,” Vazquez said. “Here we go with the excuses again. I told you I want no excuses! … This guy’s always got excuses because daddy Eddie Hearn’s gonna back him up. Bullsh!t!”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing