LAS VEGAS - Former WBA Welterweight World Champion boxer Luis Collazo will once again demonstrate his support for The NephCure Foundation when he meets Amir Khan in a critical confrontation May 3 as the co-featured bout on the blockbuster Floyd Mayweather card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
When he knocked out Victor Ortiz before his hometown fans Jan. 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Collazo entered the ring with NEPHCURE.ORG emblazoned on his robe and on the back of his trunks in support of the kidney disease patient advocacy group and his teenage friend, Allie Genatt, who suffers from the debilitating kidney disease FSGS.
Collazo will sport similar NEPHCURE.ORG identification in the ring on May 3, when he takes on Khan, the popular, British, multi-sanctioning body junior welterweight champion who is moving up to the 147-pound welterweight division.
The winner of the 12-round battle for the WBC Silver Welterweight title will be positioned to possibly meet Mayweather, boxing’s biggest star, in a lucrative pay- per-view fight later this year or in 2015. The unbeaten Mayweather is favored to defeat Marcos Maidana in the main event of the May 3 card, which is expected to sell out the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas and generate an audience of millions on pay-per-view.
A two-time New York City Golden Gloves Champion (35-5, 18 KO’s), Collazo returned to the ranks of elite fighters with his spectacular second round knockout of Ortiz, the younger, more prominent favorite, on Jan. 30. When he landed the perfectly-timed right-hook knockout punch, the NEPHCURE.ORG was easily recognizable in video and still photos seen via media outlets around the world. Collazo embraced NephCure for that fight when learning of the kidney disease afflicting 15-year-old Genatt, whom he met during training sessions at Competitive Edge Athletics in Port Washington, Long Island.
NephCure launched an awareness campaign around the Super Bowl-week Collazo- Ortiz card, specifically targeting New York City’s Latino population centering on the popular Collazo, a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent who grew up in Brooklyn and lives in Queens. That campaign will continue around the Collazo-Khan fight as the May 3 Las Vegas date approaches. Genatt is a 15-year-old Long Islander who was first diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome at age two. The disease was later confirmed as FSGS and she endured years of medications with risky side effects before receiving a kidney transplant (from her mother) at age 11. Collazo has also spent time with eight-year-old Nephrotic Syndrome sufferer Manuel Casado of The Bronx and 11-year-old FSGS sufferer Matthew Levine of Long Island.
“The challenge with FSGS is that there is a very high rate of reoccurrence when the disease attacks the new kidneys,” stated Henry Brehm, Executive Director of The NephCure Foundation. ”We have much work to do raising awareness and funding for research so people with FSGS can avoid the road to dialysis and transplant. “
Collazo has a tough opponent in Khan (28-3, 19 KOs), the former unified world light welterweight champion who won the Silver Medal for Great Britain at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The first ever British-Pakistani and Punjabi boxing world champion, Khan has been inactive since defeating Julio Diaz last April in Great Britain.
FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis), which afflicted the late actor Gary Coleman and interrupted the NBA career of Alonzo Mourning, is a disease that damages the kidney function, often requiring dialysis or transplant. The NephCure Foundation is the only organization committed exclusively to support research seeking the causes of FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome, improve treatment and find a cure.
The Collazo-Khan fight is part of a SHOWTIME PPV® event entitled “THE MOMENT: Mayweather vs. Maidana.” Also scheduled are 10-round bouts featuring super middleweights J’Leon Love vs. Marco Antonio Periban and junior welterweights Adrien Broner vs. Carlos Molina.