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He'll Wait For Cake: Collazo Celebrates B-Day, Looks Forward To Khan Bout

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LUIS COLLAZO BIRTHDAY ROUNDTABLE QUOTES & PHOTOS

“On May 3rd, THE MOMENT is going to be my moment.” – Luis Collazo

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Photo Credit: SHOWTIME/Tom Casino

NEW YORK CITY (April 22, 2014) – Former WBA Welterweight World Champion and current WBA International Welterweight Champion Luis Collazo spent the afternoon of his birthday speaking with reporters about what he calls the “highest plateau that one can fight on.” Collazo, who turned 33-years-old today, will face former unified world champion Amir “King” Khan in the co-main event of “THE MOMENT: Mayweather vs. Maidana” on Saturday, May 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on SHOWTIME PPV®.

Collazo opened up about his spirituality, work ethic and excitement for this chance of a lifetime taking place in less than two weeks. Below is a selection of Collazo's thoughts ahead of his fight against Khan.

LUIS COLLAZO, WBA International Welterweight Champion

“This fight [against Khan] is my whole career right in front of me. I believe if I beat Amir Khan I have a bigger future in boxing and if I don't, I have to start from the bottom again.

“I am not looking beyond Amir Khan. He is my main focus. From here whatever happens happens, but Amir Khan is all I'm thinking about right now.

“[What has changed between when he first held a world title and now] Back then, I was giving glory to myself, but now I give all glory to God. Wherever I go today is because of Him. Before I was on my time, now I'm on God's time and I believe that God has given me the motivation to perform the way I'm performing. I'm going to keep performing at the elite level.

“A win over Khan does put me in the Mayweather sweepstakes, but my sights are set on Khan.

“[On Khan wanting to fight Mayweather] When Khan looks across the ring, he isn't going to see Floyd Mayweather. He is going to see Luis Collazo. I am the best.

“On May 3rd, THE MOMENT is going to be my moment.

“Being born and raised in Brooklyn means everything to me. To be able to go out there and perform at an elite level, coming from Brooklyn is everything. To see the transformation of where I'm from to where I am is tremendous.

“I believe this is the most exposure that I have seen in my career.

“When Floyd fights, everybody watches. Now to be able to fight in the fight right before he steps into the ring is tremendous.

“This is the highest plateau that one can fight on. You have to go out there and perform.

“Now that I am living a spiritual life, I am a different person. Yes I'm older, but spiritually I feel like I'm 22.

“We are supposed to go through trials and tribulations. That is what shapes our personality.

“Yeah I have five losses, but a lot of people remember you for your last outing, and my last outing was tremendous. If my last fight was a defeat, people would keep bringing it up.

“[On the Ortiz fight] On that night Ortiz looked like the old man. If you are taking care of yourself and have faith you can overcome any obstacle.

“The water in Brooklyn is just breeding great fighters. We have great guys coming out of Starrett City Boxing Gym. These kinds of gyms are the best kinds of gyms. That is what creates fighters in the ring that are going to give 110 percent every time they go out.

“I hope Khan is ready on May 3 to fight me, not someone else. It's going to be an explosive night not just for me, but for the boxing fans in general.

“Khan is going to fight the best Collazo on May 3. Whatever he said he said. Talk is cheap.

“At this point in the game 75 percent is mental and the other 25 is physical. Mentally it is easy to breakdown. You have to go into the ring and be smart.

“Fighting for my first title was my hardest fight. I came out of it with a fractured rib. The last three rounds I was exhausted, but I gave it my all and I made sure that I left everything I ever fought for in that ring.

“My prediction for this fight is that I am going to be victorious.”

NIRMAL LORRICK, Collazo's Trainer

“I think Luis has been one of the luckiest fighters through his ups and downs. He has had the option to fight fighters from all of the different promotional companies. He never sold out. I think to me Luis is one of the top three fighters in the world and he's been like that for a long time. He has just been overlooked.

“Luis is guiding us, God is guiding him and we are doing the work together. He is enjoying this. I am very proud of him.”

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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