By Keith Idec
Luis Collazo and his handlers hope a strong start to 2018 will lead the former champion to a welterweight title shot later in the year.
That was Collazo’s game plan in 2017, before an injury sidetracked him.
The veteran southpaw enjoyed a strong start to this year when he scored a spectacular sixth-round knockout of Sammy Vasquez on February 2 in Tunica, Mississippi. That impressive victory marked Collazo’s lone appearance of the year because he suffered a torn left biceps muscle in August, which required surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
The Brooklyn native has been fully cleared to resume training, though, and intends to return to the ring sometime in March.
“Al [Haymon] and I have been discussing the best plan for Luis to come back and fight for a title by the end of 2018,” Keith Connolly, Collazo’s manager, told BoxingScene.com.
“We’ve agreed that he’s going to come back in March. We wanted to fight Danny Garcia, but he decided to go with [Brandon] Rios [on February 17 in Las Vegas], so he’s not available.
“We’re looking for the best guy available, to get a big win and to be in line for a title shot. He gets a win in his next fight and I think Collazo deserves a shot at a title. He had a sensational knockout against Vasquez and he gave Thurman a hard time [in July 2015].”
Devon Alexander, a fellow former welterweight champion, was rumored to be a potential opponent for Collazo earlier this year. St. Louis’ Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) likely is headed for a fight against Victor Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) sometime in February, however, which would leave the 36-year-old Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs) to oppose someone else in what will be his first fight in more than a year.
Collazo knocked out Ortiz in the second round of their January 2014 bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“I just want to fight any of the top guys before I go out,” Collazo told premierboxingchampions.com recently. “Whatever happens, win or lose, I want to go out against a top guy.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.