You’ve got to give credit to Amir Khan for seeking out the best available competition. When he couldn’t get Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to agree to a fight, he instead got Brooklyn’s Luis Collazo who he will meet May 3 in Las Vegas on the undercard of Mayweather’s title unification against Marcos Maidana.
By the time Amir Khan steps into the ring it will be a year since he had his last bout in which he was decked in the fourth round and won a close decision over the well-worn Julio Diaz. On the other hand, Luis Collazo has fought three times in the same time frame and is coming off one of his career best performances with a second round knockout victory over Victor Ortiz in January.
Fighting with a newfound confidence, Collazo is a tricky southpaw with a decent punch. He is well-schooled and with a record of 35-5, 18KOs he will be highly motivated because despite having had 40 fights over a career that began 14 years ago and included a stint as a welterweight titlist, he has never earned the really big money.
"Defeating Victor Ortiz in January was just the beginning," said Collazo on Monday from his training camp at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. "Facing and beating Amir Khan on the biggest stage in the sport is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I will take full advantage of this and put myself in the best position to face the winner of the main event. I hope Khan is ready because Brooklyn is coming to take him down."
Khan (28-3, 19KOs) must also be motivated. He’s apparently been promised a mega-fight against Mayweather if both of them win on May 3. Another loss would likely signal the end for Khan as a serious contender who has lost two of his last four bouts.
"I'm looking forward to fighting in Las Vegas once again, and my intention on May 3 is to make a statement that I belong on this big stage," said Khan training in Bolton, England after the bout was officially announced on Monday. "Luis Collazo might be coming off of a big win, but I am in incredible shape and am ready for this challenge. A win on May 3 is what I need to prove that I truly am one of the best welterweights in the sport."
It’s a fight that makes sense for this card as it logically sets up the winner to meet the winner of Mayweather vs. Maidana in September. Should Collazo prove victorious there may be a chance that fight lands at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Collazo has fought stronger opposition having faced former titlists Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley and Andre Berto – all in losing efforts – but the fight will likely be close to even money in the betting parlors.
“Both Amir Khan and Luis Collazo have made it known that they want a shot at the winner of the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, so what better way for them to prove that they're next in line than by fighting on "The Moment" card on May 3?" said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "These are two exciting former world champions and this fight has the potential to steal the show."
Provided Maidana doesn’t accomplish the impossible and upset Mayweather, a Collazo win would likely “steal the show” and provide Mayweather with an opponent he does not want. The rumor is Mayweather is reluctant to face southpaws. Maybe the best case scenario for Khan is to lose as that would likely guarantee him the fight he has been ranting about on Twitter.
Pick up a copy of T.K.'s new book, The Fight Racket: Inside the World of Professional Boxing
Follow T.K. on Twitter
Friend T.K. on Facebook
Find out more about T.K. at about.me