What a main event we've got here! It's a difficult thing, to have to confidently give a Cordina vs Vazquez prediction. So we won't. Instead, we'll give the stats, the odds, the tangibles and intangibles going into this fight, and then we'll give a prediction that we're about 30% confident in.
For this bout, we've got the IBF super featherweight championship on the line. The two-time champion lost the title without having ever lost; rather, it was an injury that stripped Cordina of gold. However, he returned and reclaimed his place at the top emphatically.
Cordina has a tough task ahead of him tomorrow in the form of Edward Vazquez, who has a four-fight winning streak that said he's ready for a title shot. However, in this case, it'll take a five-fight winning streak to say he's ready to be a champion.
Joe Cordina vs Edward Vazquez Prediction: Previewing the Fighters
Okay, so this is a tough one. We briefly delved into this and gave a prediction earlier, but this is a title fight that could use a bit more detail before the action. Cordina is the incumbent champion; he's 31-years-old, making him three years the elder of his opponent. Along with age, he'll have the higher number in the height department, too.
Perhaps the number that jumps off of the page the most, at least to us, is the finishing rate of the champ. Of his 16 wins, he's stopped nine of these fights. Watching his highlight reel, you see a fighter who moves well and keeps it technical, but when he smells blood in the water, the technician remains but the proverbial dog comes out.
Another number that jumps off of the paper is the unattractive digit in the loss column of Vazquez's. Really, anything other than an 0 is objectively undesirable, but it's not as bad as it once was in boxing culture — in fact, the 1 in the loss column may be the best thing that's ever happened to the challenger.
We mentioned it in a previous article, but Vazquez being only 28 years of age makes him very dangerous. At this point, he's yet to hit his prime but he's close to starting it; perhaps this bout will be his breakthrough performance. That's impossible to predict as someone from the outside looking in, but it is a possibility that we'd love to look back on and say “hey, told you so.”
Cordina vs Vazquez Prediction: And Still, or And New?
What's said is said and what's done is done. But, you know, there are still conversations to have after a bout. There's no use in going too far into it, but it's a talking point: has Vazquez really ever lost? The one loss on the record of this weekend's title challenger is via split decision against Ray Ford. Many call this a robbery.
Again, it's not worth getting super into, but it's something to think about if the loss column of Vazquez is turning you away from thinking he has a shot. As for the task at hand, Vazquez is a sizeable underdog at around the +650 area. Perhaps those numbers wouldn't be so one-sided if everyone saw that fight before betting.
So, who's taking the belt home this weekend? The bookies have Cordina, most of the fans have Cordina, and we too have Cordina.
Though it's naturally easy to favor the current champion, it's a lot easier to favor a boxer like Joe Cordina. He can stand and trade, he can put on a technical seminar, and what he can do much better than his opponent this weekend, is he can finish fights. No matter how this bout pays out, there's a way that the champion can win.
Joe Cordina vs Edward Vazquez Prediction: The Belt Stays Where it is
We believe that Cordina will win. Not only that, but we think he'll find a finish at waning portion of the fight. Perhaps in rounds 8-12, but we do see a finish to decide this bout. It's important to note that, and again, Vazquez is only 28-years-old; if we're right, yeah, it's a set back, but a lot of great boxers have created fantastic careers and memorable moments by coming back from losses.