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Respected Referee Cotton Passes from COVID-19

Cotton and Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, Italy 2018

Today the boxing world has lost one of its most prominent figures as Eddie Cotton has died from complications of the COVID-19 virus. Cotton required hospitalization due to pneumonia and was then diagnosed with coronavirus.

Cotton referred his first bout in 1992 in his home state of New Jersey.
Totaling 283 refereed bouts, Cotton became a staple in boxing and garnered respect throughout the boxing world, which led to being the third man in some of the sports’ biggest world title fights including heavyweight Hall of Famers Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Wladimir Klitschko and Lennox Lewis.

“I gave him his license as a professional referee,” said Larry Hazzard to ESPN. Hazzard has been the commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board since 1985. “I was his mentor. I thought he was one of the greatest referees who ever did it.”

“I specifically selected Eddie to be the referee (Tyson-Lewis) because I knew this was the type of fight you needed a referee like Eddie Cotton to officiate — and he did an excellent job,” said Hazzard, who administered that fight.
“He was a very friendly guy, very outgoing, very honest, greeted everyone with a smile and a kind word. It’s a great loss to humanity.”

The last bout refereed by Cotton was Sam Soliman vs. Felix Sturm on May 31, 2014.

Cotton was then elected to the International Boxing Federations Board of Directors.

Tapping into his New Jersey community, the referee became involved with the American Association for the Improvement of Boxing, YCS Foundation and the Lou Costello Sportsmen Club. Cotton also was involved in New Jersey’s local government.

Cotton is survived by his wife Ruby and children Candace and Edward III.

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