HomeBOXING

Puerto Rican Oscar Collazo could go for the WBA title if he beats two-time world champion Victorio Saludar

Villalbeño Oscar Collazo will make only his fifth fight as a professional this Saturday in Los Angeles, California, but don't be surprised if as ea


Villalbeño will make only his fifth fight as a professional this Saturday in Los Angeles, California, but don’t be surprised if as early as this year, long before reaching his first 10 fights, the undefeated light flyweight receives his first opportunity to go after a world title.

Collazo, who fights at the minimum weight in boxing, 105 pounds, is just 4-0 with three knockouts and will face, very early in his professional career, his first big date when he is measured this Saturday at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center of the Lakers in the NBA) to Filipino and two-time former world champion Victorio Saludar.

Collazo marked exactly the limit of the division this Friday during the weigh-in, as a prelude to his brawl that is part of the undercard preliminaries, which will be led by lightweights Javier Fortuna (37-3-1, 2 KO) and Ryan García ( 22-0, 18 KO), and which will be broadcast through the DAZN digital platform starting at 8:00 at night.

Saludar, who weighed in at 104.2 pounds, is a much more experienced fighter as evidenced by his age of 31 and his record of 21-5 with 11 knockouts. The Filipino comes from losing his light flyweight title as recently as in his previous fight on December 21, 2021 against Dominican Erick Rosa, who at only 22 years old and just five professional fights snatched the belt from the (WBA). ) to greet.

Rosa had just fought before, in July of last year, for the interim WBA title and defeated Ricardo Astuvilca by unanimous decision to later challenge Saludar and keep the official title of the division.

It would not be surprising then, with that and other precedents, that the 25-year-old Puerto Rican is fighting for a world title very soon, and that is why his fight against a dangerous fighter and former world champion like Saludar is seen as the great opportunity.

Oscar Collazo, 25, is 4-0 with three knockouts, and will face a 31-year-old fighter who was world champion twice, and who is 21-5 with 11 knockouts. (Miguel Cotto Promotios)

“I am grateful to the company of and Golden Boy Promotions for giving me the opportunity and trusting me. And for giving us this proof that we wanted, so early in my career. Their trust has been important, because they know that the way I work is hard and that we are ready. We are ready for such a big test,” Collazo told El Nuevo Día via telephone from Los Angeles.

From the first moment the company signed Oscar, we knew the quality of a boxer he was. We knew that we had a lot of material and that we could not be so passive in developing him because he was already quite developed in amateur boxing.

Brian Perez / CEO of Miguel Cotto Promotions

“No boxer is small, but we understood that the fight with Victorio Saludar is good; Of course, dangerous, but as long as we take care of ourselves… He is a two-time champion with experience, who is going to get the best out of me. And if we wanted that fight to rank number one, we had to go through him. He is on our way and on Saturday I am going to take him out of the way to position myself number one in the world”, he added with a confident tone.

At the moment, the Filipino appears ranked number one in the WBA and Villalbeño as second. In the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Collazo is fourth in his division.

“From the first moment the company signed Oscar, we knew the quality of a boxer he was. We knew that we had a lot of material and that we couldn’t be so passive in developing him because he was already quite developed in amateur boxing. He had a professional style within the hobby”, highlighted by his side in reference to Collazo, the executive director of Miguel Cotto Promotions, Brian Pérez.

“When he debuted at six rounds, we were putting tests on him that would make him work and we saw that we could take his career faster compared to other boxers.”

Oscar Collazo during a photo session prior to his fight against Víctor Saludar as part of a Golden Boy Promotions card in Los Angeles.Oscar Collazo during a photo session prior to his fight against Víctor Saludar as part of a Golden Boy Promotions card in Los Angeles. (Supplied / Golden Boy Promotions)

Pérez highlighted that since Collazo defeated Pedro Villegas last December by knockout in three rounds, an opportunity of this level for Villalbeño began to be negotiated between his company and Golden Boy Promotions. The efforts paid off and his fight this Saturday against Saludar will serve as a kind of eliminator to decide who will face the current WBA champion, the Dominican Rosa.

“The eliminatory fight against Victorio Saludar arose, and the winner goes against the champion Erick Rosa. Saludar is an experienced two-time world champion who brings his experience and name to the table. Oscar, we understand that he has the carats to come out on top. Our company is confident that Oscar is one of the most impressive talents in Puerto Rican boxing today, and we know that a victory over Saludar puts him in position to hold a world title by the end of the year. Puerto Rican boxing is in force, “said the executive.

Collazo is pleased with this door that is opening, especially after the delay that the COVID-19 pandemic implied in his recently started career.

“It was something that we wanted from the beginning, but the pandemic put up with us a bit and delayed us. But I know that the team was working to give us what we wanted, which was this… a big billboard,” added Collazo. “Imagine, being here at the Crypto.com Arena gives me the opportunity to show my qualities, my way of working. There is potential and this is the place that will give me the opportunity for people to see me”.