Luis Collazo has been around the boxing world plenty at this stage in his career, but as he approaches his 33rd birthday in April, he's just now coming off of the biggest and most significant win of his career, a second round TKO over former welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz. Next, he tries to do something even bigger: beat Amir Khan on the Mayweather-Maidana undercard.
Collazo (35-5, 18 KO) has been chosen as the welterweight test for Khan (28-3, 19 KO), who is moving up to the division for the first time. Khan had originally been favored to face Mayweather on the date, but lost that race to Maidana, and had to settle for a co-feature spot.
But it's a big fight for both Khan and Collazo, one that could lead the winner to a fight with Mayweather down the line. There is no room for Khan, the bigger name and the guy seemingly closer to a Floyd fight, to overlook Collazo. But Khan has looked past his present and into his future. Is he doing it again?
"Yes, he is," Collazo said on a conference call this past week. "At least that's what I'm hearing. On May 3, I'm going across the ring once that bell rings, you know, and he's just got to get ready. I know I'm getting ready, and I hope he's getting ready the same way, because we've got to give the boxing fans what they want, some excitement."
Facing the role of underdog, there is always the concern in boxing that the favored fighter, the one potentially worth bigger money, will have an automatic edge in the fight. But Collazo says he's not concerned about that.
"It's okay, you know, I've been the underdog all my life, all my fights I was the one trying, the next fighter to step up," Collazo said. "He's coming to the welterweight division, I'm more than happy to welcome him to that weight."
"Khan is a great fighter, he's been on top of the game quite some time now, and to be able to get this fight, it's great. This is just getting me closer to where I really want to be, at the top of the welterweight division."