News September 2013

Collazo overcomes potential banana skin, calls out Thurman


By Michael J Jones

Tricky veteran; Collazo

Last Monday in Texas, former world welterweight champion Luis Collazo continued his march to another world title chance with a unanimous decision over the ten-years-younger Alan Sanchez.

The bout, at the Cowboy’s Dance Hall, San Antonio, saw Collazo claim his third win of his comeback since returning from a year-long lay-off last October. He improves his record to 34-5 (17) and immediately afterwards called out undefeated WBA Interim champion Keith Thurman.

Although the former champion’s opponent for Monday night’s bout had a safe looking 12-2 record, further inspection would reveal Sanchez could well prove to be a handful.

Four inches taller than his southpaw opponent at 6’1”, Sanchez’s only previous defeats had been close decision losses early in his career; the latter of which (against Artemio Reyes) he had subsequently avenged by first-round knockout. The 22-year-old was unbeaten in his last eight coming into the bout and looked more than capable of pulling off an upset.

Collazo, every bit the tricky veteran these days, eased into the ten-rounder to edge the opening few rounds before Sanchez started to open up more as the fight progressed. The rather tame, if intriguing, chess match continued through the middle rounds with Collazo landing most of the cleaner punches throughout.

As both fighters seemed resigned to a distance fight, Luis suddenly shook the younger man with a hard left hook in the dying seconds of the eighth. The bell came to the young contender’s rescue, thus killing any chance of an early night; Sanchez was never in trouble again.

Collazo kept his nose in front the final two rounds, his straight left in particular proving effective against his taller foe, who kept trying gamely to the end.

The scorecards read 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for the Queens southpaw who surely can’t be far from a shot at one of the reigning champions if he keeps winning.

Sanchez, in his first fight in ten months, boxed well for a young man with just 14 fights under his belt and will have learned from this fight greatly. Fairfield’s Alan was just nine-years-old when Collazo turned pro in 2000.

Luis Collazo must be one of the unluckiest fighters in boxing…

After claiming the WBA welterweight title with a close points win against defending champion Jose Antonio Rivera, Luis made his second defence with a title match against Manchester favourite Ricky Hatton.

Unlucky; Collazo is edged by Hatton

The Boston bout saw Collazo overcome an early knockdown to out-box “The Hitman” and even badly hurt him in the seventh and last. With most of the opinion that the defending champion in his home country surely would retain after a close fight, the decision went unanimously to Hatton, much to the disgust of Luis.

Nine months after the frustrating Hatton defeat, Collazo would face “Sugar” Shane Mosley in Las Vegas for the Interim WBC title. Luis would injure his shoulder early in the bout and lose widely on all three scorecards.

It took two years for the New York veteran’s next big fight but he was unfortunately robbed once more. Taking on 23-0 WBC champion Andre Berto in Biloxi, Collazo boxed superbly and appeared to hurt the champion a few times but again saw the fight go against him unanimously.

With a little more luck Collazo would have ruined the unbeaten records of both Hatton and Berto (a combined 63-0 when facing Luis).

In the next three years, Collazo endured further inactivity and injury problems before emerging at the end of last year to resume his career.

Now 32-years-old and with three decent wins under his belt, the heavily-tattooed veteran would be a good test for any world class fighter at 147lbs if he can nail down the opportunity.

With names in the welterweight mix such as Mayweather, Pacquiao, Bradley, Thurman and Marquez, it may be tough to entice a big name into the ring against a tricky southpaw with a wealth of experience.

How about a match with Mexican Jesus Soto Karass? The tough 28-8-3 (18) contender currently has no fight scheduled and is coming off one of his best career wins in stopping Andre Berto to lift the NABF belt.

The durable Soto Karass would provide an entertaining test with his come-forward style and a win over him would surely make the 'powers that be' take note of Collazo as a serious contender again…

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