There have been plenty of fireworks at super featherweight over the past few days, with world champions O’Shaquie Foster and Joe Cordina retaining their titles in highly entertaining fights.
On October 28, WBC kingpin Foster (21-1, 12 KOs) scored a come-from-behind 12th-round stoppage over the crazy-brave Mexican slugger Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez, mixing in a Round of the Year (11) in the process. It was an electrifying contest in Cancun, Mexico, and Foster’s profile was elevated.
On Saturday, Cordina (17-0, 9 KOs) made the first defence in his second reign as the IBF titleholder by outpointing cerebral pressure fighter Edward Vazquez in Monte Carlo. The unbeaten Welshman was pushed harder than many expected by the outspoken challenger, but the majority decision in his favour was fair.
MORE: Joe Cordina vs. Edward Vazquez full card results
Okay, now let’s get Foster and Cordina in a ring ASAP.
Not so fast!
As well as being the best sport in the world, boxing is also a business. A unification fight in any division is enough to get hardcore fight fans excited, but will the powers that be provide the green required to consolidate world titles at 130 pounds?
“I was trying to make the Foster fight, but Eddie [Hearn] was saying the revenue isn’t there and that it’s not a big money fight,” Cordina told The Sporting News recently. “If we’re saying stuff like that, then what do we do? What can I do?”
This interview was conducted prior to Foster’s impressive showing against Hernandez, but Cordina doubled down on his comments after that fight. “[Foster is] a tough fight, I rate him, but, at the same time, I’m not making any money from it,” said the IBF champ in an interview with Boxing Social. “What am I going to do? Just keep fighting for the same sort of money over and over again?”
Let’s do some number crunching. According to Sports Payouts, Cordina’s purse for the Vazquez bout was $350,000. Now, remember, you have deductions in terms of taxes and expenses, so the net figure will be considerably lower. It’s obvious that Cordina, a family man with three children, does not view this kind of money as life-changing and he wants more.
As for Foster, Matchroom won the rights to stage the Hernandez fight with a winning purse bid of $466,666, as reported by BoxingScene. Of that amount, as champion, Foster was due 75%, which comes to $350,000, exactly the same as Cordina would earn one week later.
So what does Matchroom and DAZN put up for a unification fight between Cordina and Foster? What would be reasonable? Both companies want a return, and Cordina vs. Foster, regardless of the quality of the combatants, falls short of the superfight category.
However, according to Keith Mills, manager and advisor for Foster, the money is there for this IBF and WBC unification bout.
“This past summer, Eddie Hearn told Team Cordina the money wasn’t there to make the fight between Foster and Cordina as both parties will demand large purses,” Mills told The Sporting News on Sunday.
“Fast forward to the present day, and a lot has changed since then. Foster versus Hernandez was a barnburner and has sparked tons of interest from Eddie Hearn, DAZN and Matchroom Boxing.
“The fans are going crazy over this fight. The morning after the fight in Mexico, Eddie told Foster and I that we could make the unification with Cordina in 2024 in either the U.K., New York, or Las Vegas.
“Everyone understands economics. After a potential Fight of the Year and surely Round of the Year performance [against Hernandez], Foster vs. Cordina in a stadium or large area on DAZN does huge numbers. New year, new budget.
“Stop looking for excuses, Joe, because money ain’t one of them.”
All we can hope for is that Cordina and Foster come to the negotiating table and something can be worked out.