IT’S easy to forget, what with the sudden desire to put on boxing events in the Middle East, that boxing’s exotic mistress was not all that long ago Monte Carlo. It was there, in fact, a fighter like Gennadiy Golovkin was forced to kill time (and waste his best years) waiting for the big names in his division to fight him. It was also there Dmitry Bivol won his first light-heavyweight belt and there Dereck Chisora was outboxed over 12 rounds by Agit Kabayel, which at the time, and little did we know, seemed to spell an end to Del Boy’s time as a perennial heavyweight contender.

Anyway, despite that flurry of fights, not since 2019 have Matchroom Boxing promoted in Monte Carlo, which meant it was perhaps only a matter of time before they rectified this and checked in with the old mistress to ensure she wasn’t feeling abandoned. This, according to a press release issued today, they will all of a sudden look do on November 4, when the headliner this time will be Wales’ Joe Cordina, 16-0 (9). He will defend his IBF super-featherweight title against American Edward Vasquez at the Casino de Monte-Carlo on a bill that will also include a decent IBF light-flyweight title bout between South Africa’s Sive Nontshinga and Mexico’s Adrian Curiel. This, of course, is not the first time Cordina has boxed in Monte Carlo. Indeed, it was in Monte Carlo, back in 2019, he scored a 10-round decision against Mario Enrique Tinoco.

“I’m excited to be fighting at the Casino de Monte-Carlo for a second time as I put my IBF super-featherweight world title on the line against Edward Vazquez,” said the Cardiff man. “I have happy memories of fighting in Monte Carlo, landing the WBA continental title in my first outing down at super-featherweight, and I’m looking to put on another explosive performance on November 4 as I continue to work towards unifying the division.”

The fight against Vazquez, which will be shown live on DAZN, would appear to be safe enough for Cordina – on paper at least. After all, Vazquez, a 27-year-old from Texas still known as “Kid”, has fought 16 times as a pro but has yet to compete at anything like world level. He has instead fought several fighters on the US circuit, compiling in the process a record of 15-1 (3), and the one time he stepped up in class against Raymond Ford, Vazquez ultimately fell short.

Still, that’s not to say he is undeserving of this chance, nor that he lacks the style or tenacity to give Cordina problems. In fact, since that decision loss against Ford in 2022, Vazquez has managed to win four in a row, all via points, and last time out in July beat Brayan De Gracia, who was 29-2-1 at the time, over 10 rounds. That victory landed Vazquez the IBF intercontinental title and that title seems, for better or worse, to have led him to the door of Joe Cordina, a man who, following a frustrating period of injuries and inactivity, now appears to be back in the swing of things and eager to make up for lost time.