TUNICA, MS - Former world champion Luis Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs) delivered an early "Knockout of the Year" candidate with a sixth-round knockout of welterweight contender Sammy Vasquez Jr. (21-2, 15 KOs) Thursday night in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes from Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. Photos by Ryan Greene/PBC.
The Brooklyn-native Collazo started slow as Vasquez Jr. looked to control the fight with his movement and jab. The action began to pick-up in the third round as Collazo struck the first major blow of the fight, connecting on a right hand that sent Vasquez Jr. to the canvas.
Vasquez Jr. stunned Collazo early in the fourth round with an overhand left and pressed forward to initiate numerous exchanges along the ropes. Collazo was able to hold off his younger opponent and do damage with body shots and short punches in the exchanges.
After a more tactical round five, Vasquez Jr. once again pushed forward on Collazo in the hopes of getting his offense going. The veteran Collazo was prepared for the attack and connected on a vicious right hand that put Vasquez on the mat and out for good as referee Bill Clancy halted the bout at 1:27 into the round.
"Going into the fight I knew he didn't like the body shots. In the locker room my team was telling me that he's going to be waiting for it. We wanted to touch him soft down low and then go up top. We opened him up. We both tried to line up the hook and mine landed first.
"I'm a slow-starter. I'm better from a distance and I have the experience. I'm 35 but I still feel like I have a lot left in the ring.
"I've learned a lot about myself. I'm completely dedicated to this sport and ready to keep moving forward. Everyone said I was faded but now I have the opportunity to keep going.
"Sammy caught me with some good shots. He got me with a big overhand left. He's a strong fighter.
"There are a lot of great fights coming up in the welterweight division. I know Shawn Porter doesn't have an opponent right now. I'm ready to get it on if he is."