Joe Cortez Remains Hospitalized, Still In Good Spirits

Hall of Fame boxing referee Joe Cortez is still battling COVID-19.

The boxing referee renowned for being “fair but firm” was hospitalized last week in Las Vegas for pneumonia. The 75-year-old falls in the category of being high risk with COVID-19 but that hasn’t stopped him from being in good spirits.

Cortez said the following to Carlos Gonzalez and it’s clear that he’s confident in his ability to overcome this battle (via

“I’m resting, hooked up to an oxygen machine. I am still in an emergency room and I cannot speak because I am short of breath, but I assure my people in Puerto Rico that I will return.”

Cortez’s wife, Sylvia, told Boxing Scene that her husband is improving.

“Joe is fine and alert. He is not responding to messages because we wanted him to be calm and recover more quickly.

“The symptom that was reflected in him was a small pneumonia and from there it was decided to enter [treatment] and start the protocols that the treatment of this virus entails. But thank God he’s fine, and responding. We have not been able to see him due to the protocol, but we do receive a condition status every day and we know that thanks to God he is improving.”

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