On January 30, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, hosts the eagerly anticipated matchup between southpaws ‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz and Luis Collazo who will battle it out for the WBA International title.
The former welterweight world title-holders will let their fists do the talking this Thursday, in what is a high-stakes fight for both fighters. Defeat for either man does not mean that they will consider retirement, but in the context of working towards another world title shot, it would be damaging.
Ortiz (29-4-2, 22KO’s), was the WBC welterweight champion after a unanimous points victory over Andre Berto in April 2011, but has since lost two in a row. Floyd Mayweather Jr knocked the Kansas native out in four rounds in September 2011 to get his hands on the WBC strap, and Josesito Lopez upset the odds to beat Ortiz (who suffered a broken jaw during the contest), in nine rounds in June 2012. That was Ortiz’ last outing, so he comes in to this fight with Collazo after a 19-month layoff.
Collazo (34-5, 17KO’s), held the WBA World welterweight title from April 2005 to May 2006, before dropping a close unanimous points decision to Ricky Hatton. The Brooklyn native went on to lose a wide points decision to ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley (for the interim WBC welterweight title), in February 2007 and a close points decision to Andre Berto (for the WBC welterweight title), in January 2009. Since the loss to Berto, Collazo, 32, has resurrected his career with five wins in six fights – which includes claiming the WBA International welterweight title in his last fight. He comes in to this Ortiz fight as the in-form fighter.
Ortiz turns 27 this Friday, so victory over Collazo would be the perfect perfect birthday present, but not only that, it would boost his confidence and reignite his career after two successive defeats – as previously mentioned.
This is no easy fight for either of these fighters, but both feel in tremendous shape and both are hungry to win, so there should be no excuses whoever loses and boxing fans should be in for a real treat come fight night.
Ortiz has a fan-friendly style as he is aggressive and has punching power, but he is vulnerable too. Many in the boxing world question Ortiz’ heart, but if asked to go to war on January 30, I am sure he is more than up to the task.
Collazo is a resilient fighter who has been involved in his fair share of battles. He is certainly no easy pushover, so if Ortiz is too eager or not mentally focused, Collazo can take advantage.
The winner of this contest will be the one who craves victory the most, the one who is prepared to dig in that bit more when the going gets tough, the one who believes in his own strengths more than anything else.