Eddie Hearn believes his charge, newly crowned titlist Joe Cordina, is the best bet in the 130-pound weight class to upset the division’s kingpin, Shakur Stevenson.
Cordina, the 30-year-old Welsh native, is coming off a one-punch knockout of Kenichi Ogawa to win Ogawa’s IBF junior lightweight title earlier this month at Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
Stevenson, the 24-year-old southpaw ace from Newark, New Jersey, unified the WBC and WBO 130-pound titles in April with a dominant points win over then titlist Oscar Valdez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
A unification bout between Stevenson and Cordina would likely have Stevenson a huge favorite, but Hearn, the Head of Matchroom Boxing, believes Cordina’s sensational win gives him a case to be competitive with Stevenson.
“Shakur Stevenson, for me, is already a pound-for-pound great fighter,” Hearn said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “But tell me a fighter at 130 pounds that you’d give more chance of beating Shakur Stevenson right now than Joe Cordina.
“And I know Cordina would be an underdog in the fight, but when you produce performances like that you start saying, ‘ok, this kid is a threat to people like Shakur Stevenson.’ The difference with Cordina is [he is] technically very good and very acute as well, and Shakur is probably the king of that. He’s so good and so acute and so clever. But that’s a really, really good fight.”
A fight between Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) and Cordina (15-0, 9 KOs), however, would bring up a few issues. Stevenson is promoted by Top Rank Inc., which has an exclusive output deal with ESPN. Hearn has his own hefty output deal with DAZN, the streaming service. The question of which broadcaster would carry that fight, in theory, would have to be worked out first.
The other belt holder at 130 is Roger Gutierrez of Venezuela. Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, which has an output deal with DAZN. A fight between Gutierrez and Cordina may be easier to make for that reason. Top Rank head Bob Arum has publicly stated that he does not wish to see a fight between Stevenson and Gutierrez, citing the latter’s limited profile.
Hearn suggested that a likely scenario would be an undisputed title fight between Stevenson and Cordina.
“It will probably end up at some being for the undisputed championship at 130 pounds, a life changing moment for Joe Cordina,” Hearn said, adding that “It’s the best fight [in the division].”