Joe Cordina is ready to "roll the dice" after surviving a scare in Monte Carlo.
The Welshman scraped past American Edward Vazquez in Monaco to retain his IBF super-featherweight title on Saturday. Cordina, 31, was not as his best but won a majority decision to make the first defence of his title.
Now promoter Eddie Hearn is eyeing up either a clash with Leigh Wood in Nottingham or a unification with another world champion at home or abroad. "It was a close fight, a really exciting fight," Hearn said.
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"I believe every champion should try and unify the division and I believe Joe Cordina can beat any champion at 130lb. Whether that is in Las Vegas or Cardiff, it's time to roll the dice."
But Hearn warned his fighter he will have to be much better to maintain his unbeaten run if he was to face Wood or WBC champion O’Shaquie Foster. “No disrespect to Vazquez, but the likes of Leigh Wood, the likes of O’Shaquie Foster, but you have to be better in those fights,” said Hearn.
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“I still thought it was a good performance. Vazquez was very good, and we knew that coming into this fight. Now, I think it’s time to test himself at this stage of his career and take those big moments. Brilliant fight, and brilliant moment, and a real close one tonight. I believe every champion should try and unify the division, and I think Joe Cordina is no different. I believe he can beat everybody.”
Cordina labelled his rival a sore loser after the close encounter in Monte Carlo. The Wales fighter believes he was the clear winner with the scorecards of 114-114, 116-112, and 116-112 giving him the nod.
“It wasn’t my best performance, but it still got the job done,” Cordina said. “I didn’t get hurt at any point. “Nothing was happening so I felt like I had to ignite something. I’ve seen him fight, he’s awkward. He’s better than I thought.
“I’m happy. I got a win against a good fighter with a bad performance. He was a tricky, clever fighter but he lost the fight, end of story. He couldn’t beat me on my worst night. He’s a sore loser and now he’s gone off to have a little cry.”
Vazquez suffered his second career defeat and was upset with the decision. "Joe wasn't able to do anything he wanted to do all night," Vazquez said. “I won the fight, I know I won the fight, [promoter] Eddie Hearn knows I won the fight."
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