Eddie Cotton, a member of the IBF’s board of directors and professional referee from 1992-2014, has died of coronavirus at the age of 72.
Cotton refereed nearly 300 fights during his 22 years in the pro ring, most notably Lennox Lewis’ 2002 knockout of Mike Tyson. He was also the third man for George Foreman vs. Shannon Briggs, Wladimir Klitschko’s stoppage of Ruslan Chagaev, and Tyson Fury’s finish of Steve Cunningham among many other title bouts. Matthew Macklin, who shared the ring with Cotton three times, paid his respects.
So sorry to hear the news that Eddie Cotton has sadly lost his fight against Covid-19. Eddie was an incredibly well respected referee who reffed 3 of my fights against @GGGBoxing @maravillabox and Lamar Russ. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends pic.twitter.com/I9prMsciFO— matthew macklin (@mattmacklin) April 17, 2020
Paterson, NJ mayor Andre Sayeg called Cotton an “accomplished boxing referee, a respected community leader, and a cherished friend”. In addition to his work in the sport, which began in 1980 with his first refereed amateur match, Cotton was a former city councilman.
We at Bad Left Hook extend our condolences to Cotton’s family and friends, and hope that they remain safe and healthy during these difficult times. Thanks for everything, Eddie.