We analyse the credentials and statistics of Joe Cordina and Edward Vazquez as the Welsh fighter gets set to put his prized IBF super-featherweight title on the line in Monte Carlo this weekend.
It isn’t the fight he wanted, but Joe Cordina still has a job to do on November 4th, before looking ahead to far greater tests and rewards in 2024.
One of the richest locations in sport, Monte Carlo, hosts Cordina’s first defence of his IBF super-featherweight title he won in a gruelling contest against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in April.
A unification against O’Shaquie Foster had been one of Cordina’s hopes to maintain his momentum, but instead he makes do with Texan Edward Vasquez, whose title shot appears to have come on the back of a split decision loss to the highly touted Raymond Ford.
Cordina’s compatriot Joe Calzaghe often struggled against opponents he was expected to blow away during his heyday, so is there anything Vazquez can do to tempt backers at 7/1?
Let’s look at the Tale of the Tape...
|Joe Cordina||Edward Vazquez|
|Height:||5ft 9ins||5ft 7ins|
|Trainer:||Tony Sims||Ray Barrera|
|Record:||16-0 (9 KO's)||15-1 (3 KO's)|
|Last Fight:||Won (SD) v Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (Apr 2023)||Won (UD) v Brayan De Garcia (Jul 2023)|
The talents of Joe Cordina have never been in question, but injuries and inactivity did leave many believing if the Welshman would ever fulfil his potential.
That was answered in spades against Kenichi Ogawa and Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in two contests with very different performances.
Against Ogawa in June 2022, we witnessed the explosiveness and his ability to end a world title fight with one shot.
After being forced to vacate his title by the IBF because of his inability to defend it due to a hand injury Cordina waited 10 months before fighting for the same belt against a much stiffer test in Rakhimov.
Their chin checking battle was something we hadn’t expected from Cordina, and the feeling was he could have made his job much easier.
Rakihmov sucked the Cardiff craftsman into the trenches where Cordina was prepared to bite down on his gumshield and take everything the Tajikistani warrior could offer.
The split decision win was a coming-of-age victory for the 2016 Olympian who now appears to be at the peak of his powers.
Unifications and blockbuster domestic fights are just two dangling carrots for Cordina to chew over, but in the meantime the champion must demonstrate against Vazquez why he is the 1/12 favourite and handle business professionally and impressively.
|Power||can drop standards against inferior opponents|
|Solid jab||Prone to injuries|
|Hand-speed||Too good for his own good|
After ruffling the feathers of Raymond Ford in February 2022, the reputation of Edward Vasquez received a boost.
He may have lost a controversial split decision to the American but in the process caught the eye of promoter Eddie Hearn who has given him the opportunity of a lifetime against Joe Cordina.
Vasquez went on to rack up four wins after his impressive showing against the highly regarded Ford.
The Texan got the nod in two more split decisions over eight and 10 rounds against Viktor Slavinskyi and Misael Lopez, respectively and last time out decisioned Brayan De Garcia once again in a 10-round fight.
Vasquez now enters 12-round territory for the first time against a former Olympian and gifted world champion who has ticked every box needed to become one of the best at 130lbs.
Vasquez proved against Ford he has the ability to trap a slickster and lay it on them, but Cordina just so happens to like trading shots in danger zones and attempting to slip out of harm’s way.
|Creates openings with pressure||lack of speed|
|Upper body movement||Vulnerable on the front foot|
|Hooks well with either hand||Predictable|
|Body shots||Tendency to chase fights|
Full Fight Markets
All odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.