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Thread: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

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    Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    May 13 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.

    A welterweight southpaw for Hatton's U.S. "showcase"?

    —————————————————————————

    Hatton will move up to welterweight, fight Collazo
    By Dan Rafael
    ESPN.com

    The ongoing saga of who, where and on what network junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton will fight is nearly over.

    "The Collazo deal is done and now we are finalizing the HBO contract," Pelullo said. [Read more]

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    Looks like Maywheather can't hide now.

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    Yeah, because Hatton's spent his career in Europe fighting top-notch talent for the last 10 years.

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    A bad move.

    Hatton doesnt have the build or style to be as effective at 147.

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    I agree with starlingstomp, I don't understand this fight for Hatton.

    In his case, the IBF belt means something and his fight with Kostya Tszyu cemented him as the consensus junior welterweight champion, regardless of the belts. He fought years to get that honor and now he's going to scrap it in one fight? Plus, his stamina and workrate style work better against lighter fighters at 140 then heavier fighters at 147. He can't weigh in and put on large amounts of weight to get an advantage like Castillo did.

    Looking at the Ring Top 10 contenders at junior welter, the obvious fight to be made was with Junior Witter now (a huge fight in England), and wait for Cotto later in the year. If HBO didn't want to go to England, Hatton could have fought Vivian Harris now or even a fighter like Stevie Johnston who from all reports has looked good recently. Corley is the gatekeeper of the division, and a Hatton-Corley fight could be used to measure him against Cotto or Mayweather and their fights with Corley. Those are name fighters with reasonable chances to win and then a Hatton-Cotto fight later in the year could have been made.

    Personally, I think Ricky Hatton is ruining his career with this move. His reputation is at junior welter and he's throwing that away.

  6. #6
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    Quote Originally Posted by dnahar
    Personally, I think Ricky Hatton is ruining his career with this move. His reputation is at junior welter and he's throwing that away.
    It may be a Roberto Duran move. Hatton has to lose at least 40 lbs every fight, and may have been struggling of late. Duran is about the same size and did quite well at the weight. They're different style fighters, but 5-6 is not too small for the welter division, and no, HBO ain't gonna want to televise a Witter fight. It's a shame the fight couldn't have been made in advance of these changes, but remember that Cotto is also moving up at end of the year, so welter is where the action hopefully is. They have to sign to meet, never a given.

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    This guy is better then a lot of guys give him credit for. I predict he will be very successful at this weight.

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto Aqui
    It may be a Roberto Duran move. Hatton has to lose at least 40 lbs every fight, and may have been struggling of late. Duran is about the same size and did quite well at the weight. They're different style fighters, but 5-6 is not too small for the welter division, and no, HBO ain't gonna want to televise a Witter fight. It's a shame the fight couldn't have been made in advance of these changes, but remember that Cotto is also moving up at end of the year, so welter is where the action hopefully is. They have to sign to meet, never a given.
    While it may have been a struggle to lose weight, Hatton and his team were perfectly willing to fight his mandatory Rebah at 140 if HBO signed off on it. His trainer even voiced an objection to Collazo at first because of the move to welter. So, even though it is probably difficult, his team believed they could still make 140. And if Hatton could make 140, why fight against bigger fighters at 147 that could handle his body attack better than those at 140lbs did? Obviously, HBO is bankrolling this and he has $2.7 million reasons to fight Collazo at welter, but I just think Hatton is going to be far less successful moving up in weight than some other guys. He won't be able to outmuscle guys on the inside as easily which is so important to his fighting style.

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    I don't like this fight at all for Ricky Hatton. I think it is a poor choice made at the last minute.

    Hatton only has six weeks to train for Collazo at this point. Don't forget that Collazo is a southpaw and of course he's a Welterweight. Jumping up seven pounds is not a decision to be made hastily and I feel Hatton is looking past Collazo.

    Hatton would have been much smarter to stay at 140, fight someone like Vivian Harris or Lovemore N'dou and eventually work his way into the 147 pound division.

    This bout with Collazo just seems ill-thought to me.

    I'll be there to see it. It's Boston or bust for me on May 13.

  10. #10
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    Is Hatton's fight with Collazo in dobut?

    It is being reported in the UK newspaper The Sportsman that Hatton's fight with Collazo is in doubt as the WBA are insisting that Collazo fights his no. 1 contender.

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    Re: Is Hatton's fight with Collazo in dobut?

    I hope its in the ring rather than in dobut.
    That sounds gross.

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    Re: Is Hatton's fight with Collazo in dobut?

    The Boston Globe is reporting that Hatton is coming to Boston this weekend (April 8th) to annouce the fight along with promoters Don King and Artie Pellulo.

    I have my doubts as to whether it will actually happen. The fight is only 35 days away and the tickets aren't on sale yet. No mention is made of the fight on the TD Banknorth Garden website. How does a promoter sell 20,000 tickets and begin to promote a fight in only 35 days?

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    Re: Is Hatton's fight with Collazo in dobut?

    Dig

    I was going to write in jeopardy but wasn't sure how to spell it!!! What a knobhead eh?

    Rob

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    Re: Is Hatton's fight with Collazo in dobut?

    I agree with you Tom, the whole build-up has been a farce, they look like amateurs. Even Ricky's dad said he had no problem making 140. Do you think they wish they'd stayed with Frank Warren?

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    Re: Is Hatton's fight with Collazo in dobut?

    Certainly shows a bit of a lack of organization. Hatton has his HBO contract now so he doesn't care as much I'm sure. I think Hatton will be fine at 147 I just thought we would see a little more from him at 140. I would hate to see him go back down to 140 after this but from what I hear he is willing to do it & Hobson advertises as such. For someone who really used to kill himself to get to 140, this is not a see-saw he should get on.

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    Re: Is Hatton's fight with Collazo in dobut?

    Tickets for this fight went on sale today at the TD Banknorth Garden fka The Fleet Center fka Boston Garden.

    I just bought mine about ten minutes ago.

    They're calling this "Hitman Invasion".

    I can't wait. The thousands of Brits who will make the trek across the pond will make for a very memorable night. The wife and I are staying in downtown Boston at a hotel on the water....

    Bluuue Mooooon....I saw you standing alone....

    Ahhhh. Boston in the spring time. Spring has sprung!

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight




    Hey,

    I thought you might enjoy this Banner Promotions press release I posted earlier in the day, along with a photo by Tom Glunz of Collazo beating Miguel Angel Gonzalez:

    Banner Press Release

    Regards,


    Juan C. Ayllon

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Hey TKO Tom,

    Would you like to do an official report on the fight for the CBZ Newswire page? Let me know and I'll post it up for you.

    Regards,


    Juan

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Hatton will be fine. He has the will and determination to be a good welterweight. He however will not be Duran. Duran had the skill to be great (G) in any division.

    Hatton will have to rely on that skill he is always talking about at this higher weightclass.

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    Re: Hatton to Move to Welter and fight Collazo

    Quote Originally Posted by starlingstomp
    A bad move.

    Hatton doesnt have the build or style to be as effective at 147.
    I think the choice of Collazo was thoroughly thought out by the Hatton Camp. The Hitman takes alot of punches, and this is one Welter that is not a big banger. I think this will make for a very interesting contest

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Word is, both guys have been looking great. Here are some pics from Hatton's camp: LINK

    I still think this was a bad choice of opponent. I think Collazo might pull a Raheem on Hatton.

    There's also the chance that this'll be ugly and end in a headbutt a la Mosley-Marquez. Why would Team Hatton pick a southpaw for their first fight at welter and in the States? How many southpaws has Ricky faced? One thing's for sure, the cries of "Eurotrash" will become deafening if Hatton does end up losing...

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    I think eastla is right about the Hatton team really thinking about this fight ahead because Collazo is not a big banger. But I still think it is a bad move and he should have stayed at 140. Hatton always trains with heavier guys anyways but this will really be much different considering this guy is a southpaw. Oh and I Highly doubt Mayweather will be hiding from what he told me at one of the weighins when Roy Jones was gonna fight.

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Although Collazo is not a big banger, this won't necessarily be a walk in the park for Hatton.
    Forget the travel upwards into a new weight class which can be an obstacle in itself (though I don't think it will play out that way) but Collazo himself is taller, fairly durable & has decent movement. Most of all southpaws equal headbutts and Hatton is coming off 2 bad cuts from the Maussa fight and I'm sure Collazo's jab will be it's best just for that.

    I agree with Todd that this may turn in to a tangled mess but I have yet to really see Hatton in a snoozer fight so I remain somewhat optimistic. I think Hatton's strength and tenacity will ultimately be the difference.

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Maybe I am way off, but I think Hatton will plow right through Collozo. Do we have any information regarding if Hatton is a guy who needs to melt down, or a guy that blows up which really are two different things?

    Can the nationals shed some light, or is it a chicken-egg thing?

    Incidentally, I will be in Boston during the fight..and unable to go. How much does that suck?

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    I watched the replay of the Rivera / Collazo fight, and Collazo is impressive. Rivera hits no where as hard as Hatton at any weight, and I thought Rivera was pretty effective against Collazo.This is not going to be an easy contest for Hatton, but I believe that it will show what he is made out of, and confirm whether or not he can be in the same ring as PBF

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    It's now official that Collazo vs. Hatton will be for Collazo's WBA welterweight belt: LINK

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Unknown Luis Collazo is Home Sweet Home
    by Rick Folstad from Sweet Science

    The cocky southpaw from Brooklyn with the fast hands, the slick moves and the championship belt wrapped around his waist, wonders why no one can spell his name.

    World champions usually get top billing. It’s one of the perks for being the best. They get the closest table, the biggest crowd, the largest room and the fanciest cars. They’re first in line and last to arrive, and when the posters are printed up, their name is always on top and in big letters, and no one asks them how to spell it.

    Same on the marquee.

    So what happened to WBA welterweight champ Luis Collazo? How come his name is at the bottom and in small letters? Why doesn’t anyone ask him about Floyd Mayweather, or what he’s going to do after he wins? Where are all the questions?

    Most of them are directed at junior-welterweight champion Ricky Hatton (40-0, 30 KOs), the 2005 “fighter of the year” from England who faces Collazo (26-1, 12 KOs) on May 13 in Boston (HBO).

    Remember. Hatton beat Kostya Tszyu. Who did Collazo ever beat? OK. Besides Miguel Angel Gonzalez, who did he beat?

    That’s the way it’s always been for Collazo. He’s the underdog, the long shot, the wing-and-a-prayer guy.

    But that’s all right. It’s been that way for so long, Collazo and his trainer, Nirmal Lorick, are used to being overlooked. They’ve made a career of it. It’s become part of their fight plan.

    “Luis never had an easy fight,” Lorick said on a recent conference call. “We’ve been the underdog all our lives. (Hatton) has had the money and he’s made big fights, but I think they underestimate Luis. Luis beat a great fighter in Gonzalez.”

    Earlier this year, Collazo was supposed to fight German fighter Oktay Urkal, the WBA’s No. 1 contender. But when that fight fell through, Hatton showed up with the proper paperwork and Collazo took the fight knowing Hatton was moving up a weight class and would be fighting Collazo on his home turf.

    Advantage: hometown boy.

    “Anywhere in the United States is my home,” Collazo said. “So it doesn’t matter where I fight in the States. He’s not at home. He’s from England.”

    There’s something to be said for sleeping in your own bed and fighting in front of your neighbors.

    “Luis came from nowhere to somewhere, and I don’t think he’s ready to go back,” Lorick said. “This is Luis’ time to shine. I spoke to him the day after we signed the contract to fight Ricky and he said, ‘Nirmal, don’t worry about nothing. I’ve got this.’ When Luis tells me that, I don’t worry.”

    Asked to tell us a little bit about himself, Collazo obliged.

    “Slick, fast hands, good condition,” he said. “And pretty.”

    He forgot to add “healthy ego.”

    “I think (Hatton) knows he’s in for a fight,” Lorick said. “Luis Collazo is ready.”

    Collazo himself would like to pass on a message to Hatton.

    “He can’t overlook me,” he said. “Come May 13, I’m going to go in there and do what I do and shock the world. If he’s overlooking me, that’s his fault. I’m always the underdog and it motivates me. A lot of people are going to be shocked.”

    Here’s a little secret. Collazo said back home in Brooklyn, they call him the “Showstopper” because he’s always ruining shows, winning when he isn’t supposed to.

    “Come May 13, I’m going to ruin plans, not shows,” he said. “Plans.”

    It’s spelled C-o-l-l-a-z-o.

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Ricky Hatton Invades Beantown

    By Matthew Hurley from Boxing Scene

    It’s been nearly 25 years since a world title bout was held at the old Boston Garden. In June of 1981 Marvelous Marvin Hagler knocked out Vito Antuofermo in the fifth round to successfully defend his middleweight crown.

    That same year the Boston Celtics would raise another championship banner to the rafters, ushering in the Larry Bird era. Since then the Celtics went on to win two more titles in 1984 and 1986, the Boston Bruins would rest their hopes upon the broad shoulders of Ray Bourque and come up empty, the Patriots would get demolished twice in the Super Bowl before Bill Belicheck and Bob Kraft turned it all around and won three titles and the Red Sox would finally capture World Series glory in 2004. But sadly, amidst all of that, the Boston Garden, nearly as beloved a landmark for sports fans in “Beantown” as Fenway Park, would meet the crushing blows of the wrecking ball and be replaced by what is now called The TD Banknorth Garden.

    The TD Banknorth Garden is a big, cavernous arena with all the frills and none of the heart that the old Garden had. It even has air conditioning, a convenience attendees of the Boston Garden during post season play would sneer at. On top of that, if you pay enough money (and no matter where you sit you’ll pay through the nose) you can have a chef prepare you a crepe or an omelet while you enjoy an event. Somehow I don’t think Tony Demarco who fought Carmen Basilio back in 1955 at the old Garden would approve. But I digress.

    All of that high falutin nonsense will be forgotten, at least for a day, when Ricky Hatton, the fistic sensation from Manchester, England and the undisputed junior welterweight titlist, takes on Luis Collazo for the WBA welterweight championship of the world. The TD Banknorth Garden will never be the blue collar workingman’s auditorium that the Boston Garden was, but on Saturday, May 13th it will be filled with enough true fight fans, many of them Guinness swilling laborers of Irish descent, that it will feel like 1981 all over again.

    Ricky Hatton broke through and became a star in 2005 when he knocked out Kostya Tszyu in the 11th round on June 4th in Manchester, England. Despite a ferocious style that often overwhelmed opponents Hatton was the underdog in that fight. Tszyu had fought his way to the top and was in the midst of a Hall of Fame career, but Hatton would not be denied. Fighting in close and smothering the champion he finally broke Tszyu’s spirit, forcing him to retire on his stool.

    He followed that triumph with a victory over awkward Carlos Maussa in the 9th round to unify the title. It lead to fighter of the year honors from The Ring Magazine, the Boxing Writers Association of America and ESPN.com, along with the accolades of boxing fans around the world.

    Most of that fan appreciation was due in large part for the way he fights – aggressively, winging punches for three minutes of every round and, quite often, bleeding profusely from his battle scarred face. He gives the fans their money’s worth, something that Boston area fight fans always appreciated about their two local legends Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler.

    It’s that swarming, take-no-prisoners style that will bring out the fans on Saturday and turn the sedate TD Banknorth Garden into a raucous beer soaked arena that should remind Hatton of his fanatical fans back home in England.

    “I can’t wait to fight in Boston,” he said recently. “It’s such a great town, with great pubs and great people. I know it’s going to be a super charged night and I’m looking forward to a spectacular fight.”

    His choice of opponent should guarantee that. Luis Collazo is no pushover brought in to make Hatton look good. In fact, he’s a very dangerous fighter who always shows up in supreme condition and is extremely busy in the ring. There is a bit of uncertainty as to whether or not Hatton’s tender facial skin, which can shred like paper, will hold up under Collazo’s relentless attack. Which makes this bout even more intriguing, and is why HBO has decided to put it on live on their World Championship Boxing series.

    “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind these past few years,” Hatton says with an ingratiating laugh. “And now to be fighting in Boston and on HBO, I’m just thrilled. It couldn’t get any better.”

    The only thing that could, possibly, make this night even more exciting for local fans would be if former champions like Marvin Hagler, Micky Ward and Tony Demarco show up and take a bow. There’s no definitive word yet but fans are hopeful. Regardless, the fact that championship boxing is making a return to Boston is a welcome relief for a city that has always embraced the sweet science.

    The club scene in and around Boston is still thriving and with Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut putting on near monthly shows, the Massachusetts area is something of a Mecca for the fight game.

    But it’s a championship bout in Boston that people have been thirsting for. The Boston Garden might be gone but the memories of all the thrills that happened in that broken down building haunt the area to this day. It’s one reason why many fans have never truly come to accept the TD Banknorth Garden as anything but a pallid replacement.

    Yet when Ricky Hatton makes his entrance into the ring Saturday night the cheers of the crowd will wash away all of that and help create some fistic nostalgia all its own.

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    Team Collazo Confident
    By David Kolb from Max Boxing

    As Steve Kim astutely pointed out in his last piece, “You can never count out DK (Don King), but it's been a tough stretch for Mr. Only in America. He came up empty with Zab Judah and Ricardo Mayorga in recent weeks (in promotions where he basically just brought the opponent and played a ceremonial role in collecting his own checks).”

    This Saturday night at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, most observers will believe Don King will once again play that same role as the runner-up’s promoter, as heavy favorite Ricky Hatton challenges Luis Collazo for his WBA 147 pound belt.

    However, those that know Luis Collazo believe differently.

    Collazo learned his craft at the Starrett City Boxing Club in Brooklyn, N.Y. under the tutelage of Nirmal Lorick. Lorick has been Collazo’s trainer since Collazo was 12 years of age. In other words, Collazo has been trained by the same guy for more than half the 25 year old’s life.

    So what’s the big deal?

    Collazo is not your typical Brooklyn boxer. He is not the flamboyant, ostentatious type that we have grown accustomed to by witnessing Mike Tyson and Zab Judah, amongst others that believe reigning from Brooklyn is a license to travel with a posse and to be a thug in and out of the ring. Collazo has an aura of calmness and stability that few Brooklyn pugilists possess.

    Collazo has been groomed for this upcoming opportunity for years. His team from Brooklyn believes that Collazo was ready for this moment for at least three years.

    Collazo credits his surroundings in the Starrett City Boxing Club for aiding his comfort level in his upcoming opportunity.

    “Guys like Monte Barrett, Shannon Briggs, the "Chin Checkers" (Curtis Stevens and Jaidon Codrington); Gary Starks, who will be a champion in the featherweight division, Sechew Powell and Dmitriy Salita have all helped me along the way. I mean there are so many of us, and there are more to come. Starrett City has always been a gym enriched with tradition, now it’s my time.”

    Lorick said, "Everything is set up for Ricky, and that's ok, we've got nothing bad to say about Hatton and if HBO want to make it about Ricky before the fight that's ok. But after the fight, it will not be about Ricky, it will be about Louie Collazo winning what we expect to be the Fight of 2006.”

    "I know all the money is going on Ricky, so this will be the upset of the year as well as the fight of the year."

    HBO bluntly sees this fight as a showcase of Ricky Hatton, as the promotional posters and the HBO boxing website feature only one fighter - Ricky Hatton.

    So how does Collazo upset Ricky Hatton? How can Collazo beat this overwhelming favorite? There are quite a few factors that can play a role in Hatton demise.

    The first is obvious. Hatton is moving up in weight class to 147 from 140. While Hatton claims that it’s no big deal, fact is that Collazo has always been a welterweight, while Hatton has always been a junior welterweight.

    Collazo commented, "140 is 140, 147 is where the big boys are. He isn't going to bully me the same way he did to all of those other dudes at junior welterweight."

    Hatton has not fought once at 147, not even a set up fight for this upcoming fight (maybe because he views this as the setup fight for an Antonio Margarito or Floyd Mayweather fight at 147).

    “My main focus is on him. I am bringing my "A" game. Hatton's main focus is on Floyd Mayweather. He is overlooking me. Come the 13th I will be 110%."

    Second, this will be Hatton’s first fight outside of England since June of 2000. While a reported 4,000 English fans will be in Boston to cheer him on, it won’t be the 10,000 plus he is accustomed to, nor will it be the hour he is used to, as the fight will take place early Sunday morning English time (although he will have a week to adjust to the time in Boston).

    Possibly the biggest obstacle Hatton will have to overcome is the fact that all eyes are on him. He opened eyes with his Kostya Tszyu win, and continued to impress versus Carlos Maussa (although Hatton was cut terribly in that bout), but the pressure to impress may hinder the ‘Hitman’s’ performance.

    The confident Lorick said, "Hatton could go for it early and we’re prepared for that, or he can start slow… he can start the fight however he likes, but Louie will finish the fight as he wants to."

    Lorick continued, “Ricky will never know when Louie is gonna fight him and when he's going to box him. Ricky's made his money; we're taking the short end of the purse to get to the point where it’s Louie who’s the star of the show next time."

    Next, a quick examination of Hatton’s opponents doesn’t quite yield the type of resume that a 40-0 fighter with all the hoopla should have going into his first welterweight fight as a landslide favorite.

    But the truth of the matter is that Collazo’s blotter is no better, although it might have strengthened a smidgen last Saturday night as Jose Antonio Rivera, the guy who Collazo took the WBA welterweight belt from, moved up in weight class and proceeded to destroy Alejandro Garcia to win the WBA junior middleweight title.

    Collazo said, "If I beat the reigning junior middleweight champion of the world, I'll have no problems fighting the junior welterweight champion of the world. Ricky is a good fighter, but this is totally different at 147 pounds. He doesn't know how different it will be."

    Junior welterweight Dmitriy Salita, who has trained with Collazo since he was 13, says that Collazo is always prepared and believes that Collazo has a good shot of winning.

    “He beat Rivera with two weeks notice. There aren’t many boxers that can do that.”

    Collazo said, "I took the Rivera fight on two weeks notice, and I had only been in the gym for a week when I got the call. I had only two weeks of hard training but the fight was more of a mental thing. I couldn't even think about the physical side because I could only be at 75% with just two weeks notice. But, mentally, I prepared myself 100%. I decided that I would leave everything in the ring.”

    “I stopped the Rivera Show, now I'll stop the Ricky Show."

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    Re: Hatton vs. Collozo pre-fight

    The Last British Invasion

    By Richard McManus from Boxing Scene

    The last time a British boxing superstar took this side of the pond by storm fans crowded around their televisions on a Friday night in 1997 for an HBO showcase between “The Prince” Naseem Hamed and veteran Featherweight Kevin Kelley. The buzz around that fight was unlike any Featherweight fight in recent memory. American audiences had been tantalized by Hamed’s antics and skills for several fights before we got to see him that night in Madison Square Garden.

    What ensued after the bell rang was incredible and dramatic. With each man down three times, although Hamed’s punches were far more damaging, the fight didn’t even go four complete rounds. Hamed dismantled Kelley in much the same way he dismantled Tom Johnson 10 months prior. Kelley looked like he was in a 15 round war with Salvador Sanchez by the time referee Benjy Esteves called a halt to the affair at 2:27 of round number 4.

    All Kelley could offer as an explanation for his strategy or choice to go to war with the heavy handed Brit was “I deviated,” meaning he knew he was supposed to box the unorthodox Hamed, not slug with him. Trying to trade bombs with a fighter like Hamed was a terrible choice, as Kevin discovered.

    So what does this exciting trip down memory lane have to do with the bout scheduled for Saturday night between Ricky Hatton (40-0, 30KO) and Luis Collazo (26-1, 12KO)? Well, parallels can be drawn and some of them actually make sense. For one thing both Kelley and Collazo are from New York. Kelley hailed from Queens, while Collazo calls Brooklyn home. Both Collazo and Kelley are southpaws and not particularly known for their knockout punch. As is known, Hatton hails from Manchester, England while Hamed was from up the road in Sheffield.

    Coming into the fight with Hamed, Kelley had only been bested one time, a 10th round TKO at the hands of Alejandro Gonzalez back in 1995. Collazo has also only tasted defeat once, a 3rd round TKO at the hands of Edwin Cassiani back in 2002. The differences end there however as Kelley, at the time of the Hamed fight had already established himself as a great fighter with wins over the likes of Goyo Vargas, Derrick Gainer, Jesus Salud and Jesse Benavides just to name a few.

    When Hamed selected Kelley for his American “coming out party” he was taking on a legitimate challenger. Although he wasn’t a particularly dangerous opponent he was a slick boxer with some pop who, it was thought at the time, could potentially expose Hamed.

    As it turns out, he did expose Hamed in the first round with a smart punch right on the chin, dropping “The Prince” and laying the blueprint that many tried to follow as challengers in Hamed’s ensuing fights. Marco Antonio Barrera followed the blueprint to a tee a few years later. He busted Hamed on the chin several dozen times, handing “The Prince” his first loss and effectively ending his career. To this day however, Hamed continues to string us along with talk of a comeback in “six months time” but we’ll believe it when we see it.

    As for Ricky Hatton, he sports and shiny undefeated record, just like Hamed and has some good wins under his belt, most notably the stoppage victory last summer over longtime 140-pound king Kostya Tszyu. He has some other good wins and he has some wins over opponents that could best be described at this time as “name” opponents (Freddie Pendleton, Vince Phillips). But if you put it all together, Hatton is on a big roll.

    Collazo to his credit is the WBA Welterweight champ and has a big TKO win over the primeval Miguel Angel Gonzalez. The only other fighter to stop Gonzalez was Tszyu but we have to be realistic and admit that the Gonzalez of 1999 and the Gonzalez of 2005 are two different fighters.

    Collazo is the bigger man, having fought his entire career at or above the 147-pound limit. Hatton has never fought above 140. And Collazo is a southpaw and fighters like him have been known to pose a problem or two for guys like Ricky Hatton.

    HBO is banking big on Hatton. After stealing him from Showtime they’re trying to maximize his marketability by staging this bout in Boston and placing it on the heels of the high profile Mayweather and De la Hoya Pay Per View cards. Will Hatton one day be a great fighter, one worthy of Jim Lampley’s hyperbolic rhetoric?

    I’m not sure we’ll find out this Saturday against Collazo but you can bet dollars to doughnuts that if he gets past Collazo he’ll be in the ring with either De la Hoya or Mayweather within a year’s time.

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