Promoter Eddie Hearn felt his charge, Joe Cordina, deserved to hang onto his 130-pound title by the slimmest of margins.
In what was the Welshman’s first defense of his IBF junior lightweight belt, Cordina outlasted a game Edward Vazquez in a back-and-forth tussle via majority decision Saturday night at Casino de Monte Carlo in Monte Carlo.
An irate Vazquez, the proverbial B-side in this match-up, was understandably upset when the scorecards were announced: two judges had it 116-112, while one had it a draw at 114-114.
Hearn said he had Cordina up by only one round on his personal scorecard.
“Very, very close fight,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “I haven’t checked social media yet but they normally, in a close fight, go with the challenger. I don’t know what they’re saying but for me, a round to Joe Cordina—it was that close.”
An aggressive Vazquez alluded to his hard luck in the post-fight interview; the 28-year-old native of Fort Worth, Texas, lost a very close split decision to Raymond Ford in 2022.
“We knew that he would be very competitive,” Hearn said of Vazquez. “We knew he would be very tough. You saw it in the Ray Ford fight. Again a fight that could have gone either way. So he’ll feel a little hard done by. He did come to fight the champion.”
Hearn made it clear, however, that there was no bias at play with the judges, saying that none of the judges were British. Still, Hearn felt that the two judges that had it 116-112 for Cordina were a bit too generous.
“They were all neutral judges tonight,” Hearn added. “No British judges. I thought 116-112 was a little wide to be honest with you. One judge obviously had it a draw. I just felt that Joe deserved to retain his belt tonight.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.