Oscar Collazo vowed to shut down his island after making history.
Just don’t expect the newly crowned WBO strawweight titlist to spend much time on the victory tour. In fact, it will lead directly into training camp for a homecoming title defense if Collazo gets his way.
“We chopped the tree and made history for Villalba,” Collazo said after his seventh-round knockout of the Philippines’ Melvin Jerusalem to win the title in just his seventh pro bout. “I will see you all in Puerto Rico in August, where I will make my first title defense.”
Puerto Rico’s Collazo (7-0, 5KOs) fought on even terms early on versus Jerusalem, who attempted the first defense of the title he claimed in a January 6 second-round knockout of Masataki Taniguchi. The fight permanently changed course in round four, as Collazo punished the body of the visiting Fiilipino in their DAZN-aired bout Saturday evening from Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
After seven rounds, Jerusalem informed his corner as well as referee Ray Corona that he was no longer able to continue. Collazo mounted a corner turnbuckle and saluted the crowd in celebration of the historic feat. The title win in just his seventh pro bout far surpassed the mark previously set by Alex ‘Nene’ Sanchez who won the same belt in December 2022 in just his 12th fight.
“I knew I had to establish the pace with my jab, and by the fourth or fifth round we started to hit the body and he didn’t like it,” noted Collazo.
The 26-year-old southpaw entered the fight as the mandatory challenger. As such, he will be granted a voluntary defense for his next fight, though a title unification bout is highly unlikely as every other belt is spoken for at the moment.
Yudal Shigeoka (7-0, 5KOs) is the interim WBC strawweight titlist and owed a title consolidation bout versus full WBC champ Panya Pradabsri (39-1, 23KOs); the same goes for Ginjiro Shigeoka (9-0, 7KOs; 1ND), the IBF interim titlist who is due to next face full titleholder Daniel Valladares. WBA champ and divisional leader Thammanoon Niyomtrong (24-0, 9KOs)—better known as Knockout CP Freshmart—awaits a confirmed summertime date for a title consolidation clash versus WBA ‘Regular’ beltholder Erick Rosa (5-0, 1KOs).
Promociones Miguel Cotto—Collazo’s co-promoter along with Golden Boy Promotions—will quickly begin the search for a relevant title challenger. Meanwhile, Collazo can use the brief downtime to enjoy his title win, which he claimed prior to the fight would cause all of Puerto Rico ‘to shut down for the next four days.’
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox