When the name Luis Collazo comes to mind a number of sentiments follow. Everything from defense-first, to highly underrated, to injury prone; depending on who you ask, there's generally not a description that fails to make the conversation. The reason for such a wide array of thoughts relating to Collazo is because despite his near decade in the sport, the results yielded have often ranged from sheer brilliance to 'something missing'.
No matter where he falls within that range, the silver-lining in Collazo is the fact that the lasting impression always seems to keep most wanting to see more, eager to see him reach that next gear that you can almost see tucked away in every performance.
In his last two fights on the big stage fight fans saw Collazo drop a very questionable decision to British phenom Ricky Hatton, and subsequently fail to defeat Shane Mosley in a fight that he was also doing extremely well in prior to injuring his hand.
On Saturday night in Biloxi, Mississippi, Collazo hopes to change this recent trend as he takes on WBC welterweight champ Andre Berto. Berto is seen by many as the untested commodity amongst the welterweight champs, so in that regard, despite his huge upside, many find this to be a perfect gauge for both men relative to where they stand and where they're headed in the sport.
For Berto, his level of competition has steadily progressed, squaring off against the likes of David Estrada and the seasoned and highly skilled Steve '2 Pounds' Forbes. For Collazo, after facing Mosley and Hatton, as well as spending a previous fight camp with freak-of-nature Paul Williams, some may actually question whether Berto is actually a step down in opposition.
Anyone with a brain knows that this fight won't be anywhere near a step down considering Berto's youth and ability, but being tested by that level of opposition will surely go a long way in preparing Collazo for such a fight.
In the consummate log-jam that todayâ€™s welterweight division is, the outcome of this fight will be pivotal for the southpaw Brooklynite. A strong showing for Collazo may keep him in contention, but if he fails to secure a victory it will do little to add that needed spark to a career that has certainly seen its share of peaks than valleys. A loss could spell the proverbial 'one-and-done' scenario.
For now, many questions loom, but when the headlines are printed on the morning of January 18th, at least one man among the two will have a few answered.