Significant Early Refereed Bouts of Referee Joe Cortez
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Between 1980 and 2012, Joe Cortez refereed 883 professional boxing contests. His first professional bout as a referee featured future World Featherweight champion Juan LaPorte. Bouts with such names as Marvis Frazier, Michael Spinks, Johnny Bumphus, Jeff Chandler, Alex Ramos, Renaldo Snipes, Gerrie Coetzee, James Broad, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Mike Rossman, Nino LaRocca, Pinklon Thomas, Santos Laciar, Mustafa Hamsho, Curtis Parker, Mike McCallum, Johnny Verderosa, Livingston Bramble, Adolfo Viruet, Alex Ramos, Iran Barkley, John Mugabi, Vinny Pazienza, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Wilfred Benitez, Jeff Fenech, Buster Drayton, Tommy Morrison, Al Cole, Riddick Bowe, Saoul Mamby, Micky Ward, Hector Camacho, Pernell Whitaker, Tim Witherspoon, and Ayub Kalule were among the famous fighters whose bouts Joe refereed in his early years.
The first noteworthy refereed bout of Joe Cortez was the first time Joe Cortez was seen by this reporter live. On April 11, 1981, Greg Page stopped Marty Monroe in the fifth round of a USBA Heavyweight title bout at the Concord Resort Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, New York. In Las Vegas at the Grand Garden Arena of the MGM Grand, Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Victor Ortiz in November 2011, and Canelo Alvarez versus Josesito Lopez in November 2012, were Joe’s last two major refereed title bouts. Joe has since retiredas a referee to pursue a new career as a TV sports commentator, and is respected worldwide.
Some of the Historically Significant Bouts Refereed by Joe Cortez Early in His Career
*February 4, 1984: Donald Curry Win 15 Marlon Starling, WBA and IBF World Welterweight title, Bally’s Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
*January 22, 1988, Mike Tyson TKO 4 Larry Holmes, WBC, WBA and IBF World Heavyweight title, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
*February 24, 1989, Robert Duran Win Split Decision 12 Iran Barkley, WBC World Middleweight title, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
*July 30, 1989, Julian Jackson TKO 2 Terry Norris, WBA World Super Welterweight title, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
*January 15, 1990, George Foreman TKO 2 Gerry Cooney, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
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