By Barry Cooper, courtesy of The Daily Star
LUIS COLLAZO has fought as many battles outside the ring as he has done in it.
Amir Khan’s opponent in Las Vegas tomorrow has been dogged by severe mental health problems.
And the New Yorker admits he even considered suicide while he was an alcoholic.
But he insists he is on the road to recovery thanks to his love for boxing and his decision to become a born-again Christian.
And he is expected to give Khan a serious test at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in the Bolton boxer’s first fight as a welterweight.
Collazo, who came within a whisker of beating Ricky Hatton eight years ago, reignited his career with a second round KO of Victor Ortiz in January.
But before that it was a different story, and he admitted: “I even thought about committing suicide.
“I turned to alcohol, I turned away from my family and friends and something I have loved to do since I was ten years old, which is boxing.
“One night I asked God to give me a sign. I told him, if you can change my life I would give my life to you.
“The next day I woke up and I was a totally different person.
“The hole I had in my heart had just healed. Even my wife could not give me that much happiness and I have been so blessed for the past year.
“It all started when I got injured, had two years out of the ring and I began drinking as I was inactive. It just grew from that. I wasn’t happy.
“My wife was scared to come home because she didn’t know the type of person she was going to come back to and something was badly wrong because I even pulled away from my daughters.
“When my wife confronted me about it I just broke down crying. I was in a dark place but thankfully that is all in the past.”
Collazo has nothing but respect for Khan, but insists the former Olympic medallist is in for a tough ride on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather v Marcos Maidana showdown.
Collazo added: “Amir is a great fighter and he has a tremendous background.
“He is moving up in weight so we will have to see how that plays for him and he has been off for a year.
“This is my weight, where I have been throughout my career and it might be a factor, it might not.
“Whatever happens I will go out there and give the fans what they want, excitement.
“I’ve been watching Khan fights and he doesn’t do well with southpaws like me.
“If you stay in front of him he is going to go crazy and throw lightning fast punches.
“Khan is more of a fluent boxer, whereas Ricky Hatton was an aggressive brawler. I have to go in there against Khan and fight very smartly.
“It is going to be a tough fight for both of us. There will be fireworks.”
Khan v Collazo and Mayweather v Maidana is live on BoxNation.Tags: Amir Khan , Luis Collazo , Khan-Collazo , Khan vs. Collazo