After all the bad luck Luis Collazo has had over the last few years, you can forgive him for taking time out from training to party. Well, sort of. The Puerto Rican veteran celebrated his 33rd birthday in public on Tuesday at Buca Di Beppo in Times Square to hype his upcoming showdown against Amir Khan on May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo via Showtime/Tom Casino
Out of the limelight for years because of mismanagement, Collazo, a Brooklyn native, is looking to take his recent good run as far is it can go. On the basis of blitzing Victor Ortiz last January at the Barclays Center, Collazo earned a slot on the Mayweather-Maidana pay-per-view card and now he is looking to extend the daisy chain even further: a win over Khan puts Collazo in the crosshairs of Floyd Mayweather, Jr., where a whole new tax bracket is waiting. Just answering the opening bell against Mayweather would guarantee Collazo enough money to buy a house in Calabasas and—just like Selena Gomez—build a perimeter fence around it. “This fight is my whole career right in front of me,” Collazo told the assembled media. “I believe if I beat Amir Khan I have a bigger future in boxing, and if I don’t, I have to start from the bottom again.”
While most are looking at Collazo, with a record of 35-5 and 18 knockouts, as a solid shortender, the fact remains that Khan shares a few important traits with Victor Ortiz. Not only has Khan looked unimpressive in recent fights, but he is also coming off of an extended layoff. In addition, Khan and Ortiz both own chins that can be shattered as easily as a plaster statuette of St. Anthony. Other than a question of styles, the similarities end there. In this case, however, you can also add that Khan, 28-3 with 19 knockouts, has not proven himself at welterweight, and that he seems obsessed by the fact that Floyd Mayweather, Jr., chose to face Marcos Maidana instead of him. In other words, focus, too, may be an issue with Khan coming into this fight.
Not even the best mixologist can come up with better ingredients than what Collazo, a smooth southpaw counterpuncher, will get on May 3rd against Khan. This is the perfect cocktail for a dark horse to get buzzed on. Although his birthday had to double as a press conference this year, if Collazo beats Khan, his belated celebration may last for weeks.
Carlos Acevedo is the editor of The Cruelest Sport and a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. His work has appeared in Boxing Digest Magazine, Maxboxing, Boxing World Magazine, and Esquina Boxeo.