Mancuso: Purpose Served For Collazo

Luis Collazo has been in the ring with world champions and there is no cause to doubt his capability. At 37-years old, a fighter like Collazo will get the questions as to why continue in a welterweight division that is stacked and considered the elite of boxing.

They are talking about Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia one of the anticipated fights of the year that went to Spence Saturday night. They are talking about Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Manny Pacquiao, but Luis Collazo hopes to once again be in that mix.

Sunday night at the Hulu Theater Madison Square Garden, Collazo looked for a win. In the process he got back in the mix with a 10-round split decision over Samuel Vargas. He  delivered on the Top Rank/ESPN co-main event and now there is talk about another major opportunity against Terence Crawford who holds one of the major titles among the elite at 147.

Credit: Mikey Williams/ Top Rank

Prior to this latest bout, he said, “I believe I’m living my purpose now.” Now it can be said that Collazo is continuing his purpose. Judges at ringside had it 96-94, 98-92 for Collazo, and 96-94 Vargas.  

Fighters never quit or hang up the gloves until the body says no more. Collazo has been in the ring with world champions . He lost a decision to Keith Thurman in 2015 for the WBA welterweight title. Before that, losing decisions to former champions Amir Khan and Andre Berto. He has been in there with Hall of Famer Shane Mosley.

He sustained a severe cut over his right eye. Vargas went to the body often, but that extensive experience assured proved to be the deciding factor.

So, Collazo has made some money in the sport. He has not been very active and in between pays the bills working a bread route in his hometown of Queens, NY. But that purpose was to continue.

He  landed nearly 50 percent of his power shots, Vargas, ranked 10th by the WBA, landed 190 of 753 total punches. Once a WBA welterweight champion, Collazo is in the hunt again after this win

“As a fighter, we always want to fight for a world title,” he said. “I want to be a world champion again. I still got the desire. I still got the fire. And I would like to fight the top guys in the welterweight division. They know who they are. I called them out before. It just hasn’t happened.”

“This fight is first,” he said during the week when questioned about  opposing Vargas, 34-3, 14 K0’s. “This is what I’m focused first on. I’ll get this victory and take it from there.”

He took it. Now there is a purposes.  Collazo, 39-7, 20 KO’s, will look at options. Top Rank is in his corner and  will make the decision about his future in the ring. Then again, no fighter is going to look ahead. It’s one fight at a time and Luis Collazo knows for sure that this purpose and journey will continue.

“The things I’ve been through in boxing, a lot of fighters wouldn’t deal with. It fuels my passion,” he said. “I’ve had some rough roads. You know what, at the end of the day, this is what I was called to do. I love it. I just like inspiring those that always have been counted out, like myself. I’m still able to do it and perform at my best and give the fans what they want, which is excitement.”

CONLAN CONTINUES GARDEN SUCCESS:  For the third consecutive year, Irish sensation Michael “Mick” Conlan fought at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day. And for the third consecutive year, Conlan got the win and his fans went home happy.

Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs) defeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez by 10-round unanimous decision 100-90 on all three judges cards to retain his WBO Intercontinental featherweight title in front of 3,712 fans.

The Belfast native, switched from southpaw and orthodox and kept Hernandez (24-4-2, 10 KOs) guessing.  The two-time Olympian never was in trouble and continued his rise to stardom on the Top Rank roster.

“II think I just used my skills as I said I would,” said Conlan. “I think I showed a lot of good defensive movements and things I’ve been working on. We were in no rush to try and take out this guy. He’s tough. He  had a tough head on him. There were a few times I probably could’ve stepped on it, but we wanted to practice things we’ve been working on. I felt I did that tonight.”

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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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