Luis Collazo, Can He Be Champion Again?

by James Slater - Welterweight contender and former WBA world champion Luis Collazo has his next fight on the under card of a show headlined by the last man to beat him - Shane Mosley. Having his second fight back after losing to "Sugar" Shane in February of 2007, the 27-year-old southpaw will (according to Box Rec) face the 10-6-3(7) Gilbert Venegas in Los Angeles this Saturday night..

Luis CollazoStill hungry and determined, the former champ from Brooklyn, New York will be hoping to get some momentum going that will lead to another crack at a version of the welterweight title. Collazo is a good, somewhat underrated fighter. Fast and tricky, with perhaps slightly above average punching power, Collazo is probably best known for his losing fight with Britain's Ricky Hatton.

The southpaw had won the WBA belt in April of 2005 with a points win over Jose Antonio Rivera and a successful defence against Miguel Angel Gonzalez, also on points, followed four months later - before Collazo signed to face Hatton. A fairly big underdog going in, the clever southpaw surprised many fans with his excellent showing. Hurting Hatton and appearing to have him out on his feet in the 12th and last round, the WBA 147-pound champ seemed to have perhaps done enough to have kept his belt on May 13th in Boston. Sure, Collazo had hit the mat in the opening seconds of the fight, whereas "The Hitman" never took a count in the bout, but this was merely a flash knockdown and the champion was up, unhurt, instantly.

When the cards were added up, somewhat surprisingly and controversially, Hatton was declared the winner by unanimous decision. To many people, Collazo was robbed. Surely, we all said, the talented, now ex-champion, would get another opportunity. He did, nine months later, against Shane Mosley. Boxing for the interim version of the WBC welterweight title, Collazo was out of luck once again. Busting his left thumb in the early going, the former WBA champion was widely out-pointed and what was expected to be a competitive and close fight turned into a fairly easy win for Mosley.

That loss marked only the third of Collazo's pro career (the other coming via a 3rd round TKO very early in Collazo's career) and at the age of just 27 he rightly feels is in anything but finished. Becoming a world champion again will not be easy, however, not in today's talent-rich welterweight division.

Collazo's thumb healed and he won a shutout unanimous decision over Edvan Dos Santos Barros back in January, now he is looking to get another win under his belt against Venegas. These are pretty much straightforward tune-up type bouts for Collazo, and he will be hoping that after coming through them he will land himself a big fight - either for a title or not.

Rematches with Mosley and Hatton look out, as does a shot at Antonio Margarito, but Paul Williams is looking for a November 29th opponent. Should he get past Venegas on Saturday, Collazo, if he's offered a fight with "The most feared man in boxing," might just take it. It would probably be better for Collazo if he took a couple more tune-ups, but you never know, the former champ may jump at the quickest opportunity he's given to reign again.

At age 27 and with a fine record of 28-3(13), it's far from over for Luis Collazo.

Article posted on 23.09.2008

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