By Keith Idec
Luis Collazo doesn’t consider the fact that his fight Thursday night against Victor Ortiz is in his hometown to be a distinct advantage.
Collazo understands that Ortiz is the star among them and the native New Yorker has lost too many close decisions in high-profile fights to feel comfortable about anything if their fight goes to the scorecards. Collazo (34-5, 17 KOs) and Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) will meet Thursday night in a 10-round welterweight fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (FOX Sports 1; 9 p.m. ET).
“To be honest, it doesn’t make a difference,” Collazo said. “At the end of the day, once that bell rings there isn’t anybody going to get into that ring. It’s just you and the opponent. So you’ve got to go in there and take care of business, and that’s it.”
The 32-year-old Collazo lost debatable 12-round unanimous decisions to Andre Berto (28-3, 22 KOs), of Winter Haven, Fla., in January 2009 and Manchester, England’s Ricky Hatton (45-3, 32 KOs) in May 2006. The Berto bout took place in Biloxi, Miss. He fought Hatton in Boston.
Ortiz, meanwhile, hasn’t lost any questionable decisions during his 10-year pro career. He doesn’t think he’s at a disadvantage fighting in Collazo’s hometown, either.
“It really doesn’t matter where the fight is,” said Ortiz, who’ll turn 27 on Friday. “A fight is a fight, whether it’s here, California, Chicago. At the end of the day, it comes down to two warriors. So I’m ready.”
Ortiz, a former WBC welterweight champion, will fight for the first time since suffering a broken jaw during a technical knockout loss to Josesito Lopez (31-6, 18 KOs) in June 2012 at Staples Center. Collazo, a former WBA welterweight title-holder, has won his last three bouts, but hasn’t recorded a win over a championship-caliber opponent in nearly nine years.
“This fight is my future,” Collazo said. “This victory here means everything to me. It means I have a future. If not, I have to start all over again from scratch.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.