Terence Crawford vs. Luis Collazo: A Battle Unbefitting a King

By Paul Magno on November 26, 2018
Terence Crawford vs. Luis Collazo: A Battle Unbefitting a King
Collazo, at the very least, has name value and the ability to complicate matters a bit.

It’s being reported by several media sources that a Terence Crawford-Luis Collazo bout is in the works for March 23. This is not great news…

It’s being reported by several media sources that a Terence Crawford-Luis Collazo bout is in the works for March 23 in New York’s Madison Square Garden. It would be the second defense of the WBO welterweight title Crawford took from Jeff Horn this past June.

This is not great news.

Collazo, a New York native and former world champ, will be one-month shy of 38 when he steps into the ring against Crawford. He’ll be five years removed from what could be considered his last “big” win—a second round KO of Victor Ortiz in 2014—and less than three years removed from a career-threatening surgery to repair torn left biceps.

The crafty southpaw is very good at what he does, but he’s never been able to win the “big ones” and he’s never distinguished himself as anything other than a skilled and competitive, but ultimately ill-fated challenger. He’s one of those fighters who is seemingly always on the list of favored contenders because he’s seen as a name with the ability to challenge, but not triumph. Competitive losing efforts in almost every one of his moves up to next-level class—against Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Amir Khan, and Keith Thurman—confirm his place in the sport.

Crawford-Collazo is not a “bad” fight. As little as a year ago, when Crawford first initiated his move up to welterweight, Collazo would’ve been considered a nice little test for the 147 lb.-bound former lightweight and junior welterweight champ.

But Crawford is no longer a junior welter testing the waters at welterweight. He is a world champ already regarded as a top 2 fighter in the division. Much is expected of a king and the belief in the minds of most informed boxing people is that the Omaha, Nebraska native is either already the best fighter in the division or one spot below the best fighter.

In his last bout, Crawford made his first title defense against an earnest, but ultimately overmatched Jose Benavidez Jr. And, seeing as how this came after a one-sided blowout of Jeff Horn to win the belt, much more is expected of Crawford than a matchup against a skilled, competent veteran all but guaranteed not to win.

Top Rank bossman Bob Arum initially toyed with the idea of pitting his marquee welter against strong, but modestly skilled Lithuanian contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas, but, apparently, sanity prevailed. Kavaliauskas, who recently scored a third round KO of Roberto Arriaza on the Maurice Hooker-Alex Saucedo undercard, struggled with the ability and persistence of fringe contender Juan Carlos Abreu back in July and would be utterly whitewashed if put in the ring against Crawford at this point. The thinking is probably that if “Bud” shuts down the “Mean Machine,” it’s best to fatten up the challenger a bit, add some names to the resume, to make the schooling weigh heavier on Crawford’s résumé.

Collazo, at the very least, has name value and the ability to complicate matters a bit.

But Crawford-Collazo does nothing for Crawford and certainly doesn’t shut down the criticism that the well-regarded pound-for-pound fighter is travelling a path of least resistance in his new home division. About the only thing of note to come from this fight would be the fact that Collazo is the third Al Haymon-advised fighter to challenge Top Rank-promoted Crawford (John Molina Jr. and Felix Diaz were the other two). That’s it. Because everyone knows how the actual fight would play out—Collazo would account well for himself, but gradually fall behind when faced with Crawford’s skill, ability, and tenacious focus. The end result would be an increasingly one-sided Crawford decision or a late KO from the defending champ. It’s hard to envision any other scenario.

It’s Crawford’s (and Top Rank’s) poor fortune to be in this spot where quality challengers who can be one-half of truly big fights are well out of reach, tied to rival networks and fierce business rivals.

For as long as Crawford stays with Top Rank and the business stays the business, this will be routine operating procedure when it comes to finding opposition. Hopes of megafights and ultimate unifications will take a back seat to the all-too-familiar “best available opposition,” aka challenges unbefitting a man who aspires to be king.

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  1. ceylon 05:02am, 11/28/2018

    this isnt a stay busy fight or anything like that. this is a payoff. no way in-house al is lookin to put money in haymons pocket just for shits and giggles. this is haymons price for granting crawford access to one of the top 147s, probably porter.

    unfortunately due to the circumstances discussed, this matchup is a good thing.

  2. snowflake 10:20am, 11/27/2018

    Welterweight is a shame across the board right now. Not one of the top 4 fighters looking to face each other. I’ll give Porter a temporary pass for pushing Danny around but I’m not watching any of these guys fight no-hopers and lightweights. What a joke

  3. Toby 08:04pm, 11/26/2018

    Why don’t they simply put Clarissa Shields in with Terence Crawford? Great payday for Shields , nice win for Bud , fans would watch , a win win for everyone.

  4. Erect On Demand 03:01pm, 11/26/2018

    Meanwhile,at an event at Malacanang, Duterte asked whether any priests or bishops were present, adding “I want to kick your ass!”

  5. Kang George 09:24am, 11/26/2018

    Don’t know if Crawford measures up to the hype.

  6. Kid Blast 07:55am, 11/26/2018

    It certainly is. Mismatch.

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