Khan vs. Collazo—The Best Fight Saturday Night

By Teron Briggs on May 2, 2014
Khan vs. Collazo—The Best Fight Saturday Night
Unfortunately for Khan, his recent lackluster performances cost him a lucrative payday.

Hopefully for the sold-out crowd in Las Vegas and the millions watching around the world, both men will let their fists, not the judges, decide the outcome…

This is obviously not just an undercard fight. Khan and Collazo could headline by itself any main event, any Showtime Championship Boxing, and frankly, without any question would fill up Barclays Center on its own,” a self-described “truly excited” Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, told the media on a recent teleconference call promoting the undercard of the May 3rd Showtime PPV broadcast titled “The Moment.” Schaefer’s a promoter and is prone to hyperbole, it goes hand in hand like Charlie Sheen and porn stars, so he can be forgiven for overlooking the fact that neither man holds a championship belt. That there isn’t a title at stake doesn’t take away anything from this intriguing welterweight matchup; in fact knowing none of the corrupt sanctioning organizations will be collecting a penny from this fight brings a Joker-esque smile to my face. The impending battle between former champions, Amir “King” Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) and Louis Collazo (35-5, 18 KOs), possesses enough intangibles that I can say without any hesitation it’s hands down the best fight Saturday night.

When newly crowned WBA welterweight champion Marcos “Chino” Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) steps into the ring in the main event against undisputed pound-for-pound king WBC champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs), he’ll be a massive underdog. Some sports books have Money favored by as much as 12-1 odds. In a recent poll of writers for Bleacher Report, none of the “experts” picked the Maidana, and not one thought he could even make it a competitive contest. The other notable fight on the card features the narcissistic former WBA titleholder Adrien Broner (27-1, 22 KOs), fresh off the first loss of his career against the aforementioned Maidana, facing the pedestrian and feather-fisted Carlos Molina (17-1, 7 KOs). Molina hasn’t recorded a stoppage since January of 2010 and was last seen in the ring losing to Amir Khan in December of 2012. If you wager on Molina, and he wins, it would be akin to hitting the Mega Millions jackpot. Broner has given his opponent more respect in the buildup to this fight than the bookmakers who are willing to pay-out $13 dollars for every dollar wagered on Molina in the event he pulls off the upset. The bookies list Amir Khan as a little more than a 2-1 favorite over Collazo, but most observers see the fight as a pick ’em, with many even favoring Collazo outright. Khan himself believes the fight has the potential to be the best on the show saying “I really believe that this fight could be the one that could steal the show on the night.”

The Bolton, UK native Khan, who is blessed with hand speed as fast as an Acela Express and power that could cripple Paul Bunyan, is one of the most divisive figures in the sport. He’s a beloved superstar in his native UK, but stateside he’s dismissed as a pompous fighter with a chin as fragile as a porcelain doll. Regardless of which side you’re on, if you’ve seen him fight it’s impossible to deny his explosiveness, or the fact that the same flaws that contribute to his losses have made his fights as exciting as the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Due to his celebrity, along with wins he has over former and current champions—including Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Marco Antonio Barrera and Paulie Malignaggi—he was at one point the favorite to face Mayweather on this card.

Unfortunately for him, his recent lackluster performances cost him a lucrative payday against Money who said he choose Maidana over King Khan because “Amir Khan is 2-2 in his last four fights, whereas Maidana is 4-0 with 3 knockouts.” Khan, to his credit, addressed the issues he’s been having by signing with former Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter. Khan believes Hunter has helped him “understand the sport of boxing” and learn to use his “defense and offense at the right time.” His offensive arsenal has always been multifaceted, but his Kate Moss thin defense has gotten him knocked out twice in his career. This fight will be his first at 147 pounds, after struggling for years to get his broad shoulders and lanky frame down to 140. “I really believe I will be a better fighter at 147. I’ll be stronger, and I’ll keep a lot of my energy and strength and power in the shots.”

If Khan is going to beat Luis Collazo, who stunned the boxing world in January of this year by knocking out former titleholder Victor Ortiz, he had better be prepared. At 33-years-old the veteran southpaw from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, nicknamed the “The Peoples Champ,” is six years older than his opponent and eight years removed from his first big fight, a 2006 razor thin decision loss to a then undefeated Ricky Hatton. The menacing looking former WBA titleholder Collazo, who’s sports a bald head and is covered from neck to toes in tattoos, is a career welterweight who made this ominous statement to reporters recently” “He’s (Khan) coming to the welterweight division, I’m more than happy to welcome him to that weight.” In addition to the setback to Hatton he’s come up short the previous times he’s fought top tier fighters, losing a close decision to then WBC welterweight champ Andre Berto in 2009 and being uncompetitive in a unanimous decision lose to Shane Mosley in 2007.

The Brooklyn native has won four straight fights and six of seven since the loss to Berto. Against Ortiz, despite fighting just miles from his birthplace (the card was at the Barclays Center), Collazo entered as the underdog, but one as dangerous and hungry as a Rottweiler. A short and sweet right hook from the unorthodox fighter crashed against Ortiz’s face in the second round, sending the Dancing with Stars alum careening to the canvas where he was eventually counted out by the ref. If Collazo can land that kind of punch against Khan, who displayed little punch resistance against smaller men, he could thrust himself into a Showtime Championship Boxing main event. Collazo insists that despite his 14 years in the game, he’s still picking up things, “I learned a lot from my previous fights and I’m just grateful for all the experiences that I have. From the Victor Ortiz fight, I learned don’t leave it to the judges.” Hopefully for the sold-out crowd at the MGM in Las Vegas and the millions watching around the world, both men will let their fists, not the judges, decide the outcome.

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  1. Matt McGrain 02:22pm, 05/02/2014

    Agree on the name Clarence, it’s dirt.

  2. Matt McGrain 02:21pm, 05/02/2014

    Teron Briggs and David Matthew both back, good stuff.

  3. Clarence George 01:45pm, 05/02/2014

    Except for his phenomenal hand speed, I was never much impressed by Khan, who, despite winning, looked like a dancing bear against Julio Diaz.  And that was Khan’s most “recent” fight—more than a year ago.  I’m going out on a bit of a limb by predicting a colossal Collazo win by 10th-round KO.

    By the way, “The Moment” is the most witless and uninspired name ever given to a sporting event.  They knew from the beginning they couldn’t hype Mayweather-Maidana, and just threw up their hands.  Or maybe just shrugged their shoulders.

  4. Pete The Sneak 11:34am, 05/02/2014

    Nice write up Teron and yes, this fight will be the sleeper (sleeper as in surprise, not yawn)...I mentioned in a previous post and will say it again, I think a rejuvenated Collazo is going to give Khan all he can handle, but I think he’ll have to floor Khan or flat out KO him to win this fight. It will be close, but Khan will end up with either a razor thin, or split decision win. Peace.

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