Khan has all the pressure on him, says Collazo
By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo (35-5, 18 KO’s) says he’s relaxed without any pressure on him at all in his fight tonight against Amir Khan (28-3, 19 KO’s) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The reason why the 33-year-old Collazo doesn’t have pressure on him is that he’s not the one trying to look especially sharp in order to get a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It’s Khan who has said over and over again that he needs to beat Collazo in an impressive manner in order to force Mayweather to fight him. That belief has been echoed by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who said this week that Khan needs to totally dominate Collazo for him to have a chance for the Mayweather fight.
Simply beating Collazo won’t be enough for Khan to get the fight against Mayweather. In other words, Khan can’t have another life and death fight like he did in his last fight against Julio Diaz last April if he wants to get the Mayweather fight. Khan beat Diaz by a 12 round decision, but he was knocked down in the process in the 4th, and the victory was far too close to prove anything.
“He [Khan] has something to prove. Not me,” Collazo said to Maxboxing. “I am good. I am relaxed. I am ready. All of the pressure is on him. Come Saturday night, I have a job to do. That’s to go out there, give the fans a great fight and come out with the ‘W.’ I truly believe that he is focused on Floyd, but it doesn’t matter. He is fighting me, May 3rd.”
I totally agree with Collazo about Khan being focused more on the Mayweather fight, and with him having a tremendous amount of pressure on him for this fight. Khan will need to take a lot of chances for him to beat Collazo in an impressive manner, and that’s where he could wind up getting knocked out. Collazo can punch, and he’s an excellent right hook that he likes to throw. His left hand isn’t as powerful or dangerous, but if he connect to Khan’s chin or his slender bird-like neck the way Danny Garcia did in his 4th round stoppage win over Khan, then we could very well see Collazo knock Khan out tonight.
Tonight’s fight could be a career-ender for either guy if they lose badly. Collazo has been out of things for the 5 years with him fighting obscure 3rd tier opposition. A loss to Khan would send him likely skittering back to fighting the 3rd tier opposition, and it’s likely he’d spend the remainder of his career fighting those guys. With Khan, a defeat to Collazo would end his dreams of a Mayweather fight, and it would be Khan’s third defeat in his last five fights. If that wasn’t a big hint that his career was over then I don’t know what would be.
Showtime commentator Paulie Malignaggi had this observation about Khan at Friday’s weigh-in: “He’s not as apt to take chances anymore, and you see him in a little bit of a slower situation. He’s still very fast, but he’s a bit slower than he was.”
This is Malignaggi’s thoughts about how Khan looked in his last two fights, but with him moving up to 147 for his fight tonight against Collazo, Khan is likely going to be even slower than he was before and that’s not a good thing. Khan’s speed was his main asset that he had going for him, but if you take that away and all you’ve got is a tall, skinny fighter with a tendency to get rocked when he’s tapped on the chin.
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