There was a heck of a lot of action to cover over the weekend, what with so many cards all taking place at once. Apologies then if Puerto Rico’s Oscar Collazo and his huge achievement never got anything like as much ink as should have been the case. As fight fans may have read by now, Collazo, after just seven pro fights, became WBO mini flyweight champ on Saturday night, this when he forced defending champ Melvin Jerusalem to stay on his stool after seven hard rounds in Indio, California.
Collazo (his Christian name given to him by parents who so admired Oscar De La Hoya) is now 7-0(5) and he made boxing history by becoming the faster boxer from Puerto Rico to win a world title. Collazo, 26 years of age and a southpaw, went pro in February of 2020. His progress has indeed been incredible. Jerusalem of the Philippines won the WBO title in explosive fashion in January of this year, when he upset Masataka Taniguchi via second round KO, and against Collazo he was making his first defence. Now 20-3(12) 29 year old Jerusalem was not in any way handed an easy maiden title defence.
Collazo, born in Puerto Rico but living in Newark, New Jersey, had a stellar amateur career and he could now be on his way to real greatness. If Collazo was a bigger guy, fighting in a heavier weight division, he would perhaps be a major star already. Collazo has been matched tough since going pro, with him having to come through testing fights against Pedro Villegas, Vic Saludar, and, in a WBO eliminator, Yudel Reyes.
Collazo broke Jerusalem down with his body attack and, after some good exchanges that saw the defending champion have his share of success in what was an entertaining fight, the challenger began to really hurt his man in the fifth. Collazo staggered Jerusalem early in the seventh and though he tried to fight back in spurts, Jerusalem was pulled out at the end of the session.
How much more can Collazo go on to achieve? Can Collazo unify the belts at 105 pounds? Speaking after his history-making win, Collazo said he plans to make his first title defence in August.