This coming Saturday, HBO is back with a two-fight program showcasing the return to the ring of "Sugar" Shane Mosley, once again considered one of the very best fighters in all the world after his destruction of Fernando Vargas last summer brought his name back in a big, big way.
Mosley could be on a collision course with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., depending on Mayweather beating Oscar in May, and whether or not Floyd would risk his record against the one guy that many of us feel can truly match him in hand speed. But first, Shane has to get past Brooklyn's Luis Collazo, who last fought in November, scoring a sixth round TKO over Artur Atadzhanov, six months after a controversial loss in Boston to Ricky Hatton, in Hatton's one and only welterweight bout.
Collazo and Mosley are both former world champions, and while Mosley has a distinct advantage in terms of drawing power, Collazo isn't to be totally overlooked. Now that I've been nice about Collazo, let's be very clear in detailing this matchup.
Luis Collazo has no chance against Shane Mosley.
I like Collazo, and I think he's a solid fighter, and I think he beat Hatton last May. But Ricky Hatton is a 140-pound fighter that admittedly was out of his weight class against Collazo. Hatton didn't fight like Hatton. Yeah, he knocked Collazo down in the first round, but it was hardly what you'd call a thunderous blow. And after that, Collazo absorbed Hatton's best offense, and threw enough at Hatton to win that fight in many opinions (though none of the three judges shared it).
In fact, he threw so much at Hatton that you'd really think that a natural welterweight would have been able to knock out a guy fighting above his weight.
And that's the biggest problem. Luis Collazo doesn't hit hard enough to beat Mosley, because Mosley has a big advantage in speed AND power. Collazo is tough, he's a bulldog in the ring, and he'll take some shots. And he's a good boxer who knows what he's doing, and I think he'll make a 12-round night out of it.
I don't think Mosley will knock Collazo out, but I expect a rout on the points. When Shane Mosley is motivated -- and there is too much money to be made down the line for him to not be -- he is a phenomenal fighter. Luis Collazo is simply not in Mosley's league.
The undercard bout will feature Vivian Harris and Juan Lazcano, in a WBC light welterweight title eliminator. Harris demolished the always-tough Stevie Johnston last July, knocking Johnston down four times in seven rounds before finally the fight was over. While Johnston is tough as nails and one of the easiest guys in the world to root for, he's old and too small. Juan Lazcano won't be so easy to overwhelm.
Lazcano is on a four-fight winning streak, beating Marco Angel Perez, one-time prospect (and local boy for me) Courtney Burton, Ben Tackie and Manuel Garnica over that stretch. Lazcano has not lost since fighting Jose Luis Castillo in 2004.
Harris is 28, Lazcano is 31. Neither has ever beaten a truly top-tier fighter, but both have quality wins on their record. It really is a fight neither guy can afford to lose right now, because a loss just sets them back too far. With Hatton back in the division, everyone has a target, but it also means there's a clear kingpin again. Jose Luis Castillo is out there, Junior Witter is out there, Demetrius Hopkins, Herman Ngoudjo made a good name for himself in his loss to Castillo. It's a division packed with guys who are at or very close to the same level as Harris and Lazcano. A loss seriously knocks them down the ladder.
We'll be live on Saturday to cover both of these fights, sort of the big name start to what's going to be a very busy couple of months here at Bad Left Hook. We hope you'll join us.