By Keith Idec
Sammy Vasquez overcame countless dangerous situations when the Army veteran served two tours in Iraq.
The valiant Vasquez couldn’t overcome Luis Collazo’s right hook. Collazo crushed Vasquez with a right hook and knocked him out in the sixth round Thursday night in Robinsonville, Mississippi.
Vasquez, who also was floored by Collazo’s right hook in the third round, couldn’t get up from this second knockdown. Referee Bill Clancy counted him out at 1:27 of the sixth round in a scheduled 10-rounder.
The 35-year-old Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs) again rejuvenated his star-crossed career by scoring a spectacular knockout in the main event of an FS1 telecast from Horseshoe Tunica Hotel Casino. The 30-year-old Vasquez (21-2, 15 KOs) lost a second straight fight.
“You know, going into the fight I knew he didn’t like the body shots too much,” Collazo said. “And in the locker room, earlier today, Carlos Quintana was telling me, ‘He’s gonna be waiting for the shot downstairs. All we have to do is touch him soft, and come back up top.’ Fake a bite, bring his guard down and that’s exactly what he did. He opened up, we were both trying to line up that hook and mine landed before.”
Soon after Vasquez opened a cut around Collazo’s right eye, Collazo came back to drop Vasquez with a short right hook, with just under a minute left in the third round. A stunned Vasquez got up, and the Monessen, Pennsylvania, native was able to hold and move his way to the end of the third round.
With his legs back under him, Vasquez buzzed Collazo with a straight left hand early in the fourth round. Collazo composed himself, though, and he was trading from close quarters with Vasquez shortly thereafter.
By the fifth round, Collazo also had a small cut over his left eye. The bout remained competitive in the fifth and sixth rounds, until Collazo unloaded the aforementioned, fight-ending right hook.
“I’m a slow starter,” Collazo said. “In the gym, while I was sparring I was going through the same thing. I was getting hit with dumb shots the first three rounds. And after three rounds, I picked up the pace. I don’t know. I guess I’m a distance fighter. I have experience. I’m 35. A lot of people say I don’t have the youth. I’ve still got the youth.”
Vasquez and Collazo were supposed to fight July 16, but Collazo suffered a calf injury and pulled out of a bout that was supposed to be televised by FOX from Birmingham, Alabama. Vasquez accepted 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz as Collazo’s replacement just two weeks before they fought.
The Dominican Republic’s Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) beat Vasquez by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder.
The 35-year-old Collazo, of Queens, New York, fought Thursday night for the first time since WBA world welterweight champion Keith Thurman stopped him during their July 2015 fight in Tampa, Florida.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.