Luis Collazo Will Fight Amir Khan on Mayweather-Maidana Undercard

Golden Boy Promotions
Luis Collazo is months from the biggest fight of his career.
Luis Collazo last fought in Las Vegas in 2007. He fought Shane Mosely. The WBC welterweight title was at stake and it was Collazo's first chance at a championship since he lost his WBA welterweight title to Ricky Hatton several months before.

Mosely schooled him, winning a one-sided unanimous decision. The loss knocked Collazo from the division's circle of serious contenders. For most of the next seven years, Collazo hovered just outside, winning enough to keep higher prospects alive but losing enough to keep them still out of reach.

Then, at the Barclays Center in January, the Brooklyn-native knocked out Victor Ortiz in the second round. Now he is back in the circle. He will fight in Las Vegas next, against Amir Khan on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana pay-per-view on May 3.

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Luis Collazo Drops Victor Ortiz in Stunning Round-Two Knockout

Categories: Boxing

Golden Boy Promotions
Late in the second round of the fight, Victor Ortiz let loose a wild right hook and Luis Collazo could see it coming. He dodged it and struck back with his own right, tight and quick. The punch caught Ortiz on the jaw and he tumbled to the canvas.

The 8,000 or so in the Barclays Center stands erupted, roaring for their homeborough prizefighter as the referee began his count.

One ... two ...

The big stage had punished Collazo with disappointment after disappointment. He'd seemed trapped on the sport's middle rungs, resigned to watching opponents of equal talent soar passed, toward the riches and name recognition reserved for few boxers. He'd accumulated enough missed opportunities, lost enough main events, to get slapped with that dreaded label: journeyman.

And now here was this journeyman from Brooklyn, seconds away from the biggest victory of his career.

Three ... four ...

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Brooklyn's Luis Collazo Has Big Opportunity Against Victor Ortiz at Barclays Tonight

Categories: Boxing

Luis Collazo grew up in Williamsburg and learned to box he was 10. At 13, his family moved to East New York, so he trained at the Starrett City Boxing Club, the legendary gym that produced Shannon Briggs and Zab Judah, among other talents.

Over the next two decades, Collazo blossomed into a solid professional fighter, with a gritty, tough, subdued approach good enough to win him the WBA Welterweight world title in 2005 and keep him in contention since.

His record is modest at first glance: five losses and just 17 knockouts in 39 professional fights. But a second, longer look shows that three of those losses came against Andre Berto, Ricky Hatton, and Shane Mosley--popular names who have spent time within sport's elite ranks. And many who watched will tell you that Collazo actually beat Berto and Hatton.

Tonight Collazo fights in Brooklyn for the fourth time in three years, for a special Thursday-night boxing card at Barclays, broadcast on Fox Sports 1. He easily won the three previous home-borough bouts, but this next opponent is Victor Ortiz, the hard-swinging former-rising star with, more or less, his career on the line.

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Manny Pacquiao Brings Back the Euphoria with Vintage Domination Against Brandon Rios

Categories: Boxing

There were many good reasons Manny Pacquiao waited 11 months to fight. Not among them, however, was the reason most resonant to the men sitting at the bar at Krystal's Cafe 81 in the Lower Eastside on Saturday night.

"I still don't think I'm ready to see it again," said the man in the blue hoodie.

He didn't have to explain it. To this room full of Pacquiao faithful, it was the moment the ride ended, the inevitable flipside to the years of euphoria, the night their hero fell. It was the Juan Manuel Marquez punch that knocked Pacquiao, cold, to the canvas.

Yet before the faithful could watch him enter the ring for the first time since, they knew they would have to see it again. Montages showed it every way possible -- from multiple angles, in black and white, in slow motion.

Even a year later, barely a scab had formed. The men at the bar groaned. Some looked away. Others stared, straight-faced, shaking their heads.

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Gennady Golovkin Beats Curtis Stevens: Let Us Now Praise Towel Throwers

Categories: Boxing

After the eighth round of the bout, Curtis Stevens's corner threw in the towel. Stevens had fought a solid a fight, showed a strong chin, excited his hometown Madison Square Garden crowd with a few thudding hooks that wobbled Gennady Golovkin, the middleweight champion who has now strung together 15 consecutive wins by knockout.

But while Stevens's highlights came sporadically, Golovkin maintained a steady, punishing pace, controlling the fight with his long jab, smooth footwork, and a constant barrage of combinations. Over eight rounds, Golovkin threw nearly 800 punches, landing 293, which was nearly three times as many as Stevens hit. He dropped Stevens with a left hook in the second round. Early in the eighth, he hurt him with a body shot then stung him with three more. By the waning seconds of the round, Stevens was in full retreat, opening up his defensive shell to throw just enough punches to keep the referee from stopping the fight.

Stevens, a Brownsville, Brooklyn, native, had absorbed Golovkin's punches better than any opponent had before. And with Stevens's power, there was always the chance that he could catch Golovkin with a game-changing shot. Yet when the ref walked over to Stevens's corner following the bell, his trainer Andre Rozier didn't hesitate to end it right there. It couldn't have been an easy call, particularly given the stakes, this fight being one that could alter a career's trajectory.

In boxing, though, the stakes go beyond title belts and HBO paydays. That became especially clear 30 minutes after Golovkin raised his hands in victory, when Magomed Abdusalamov, the 32-year-old heavyweight fighter who lost in the night's undercard, told his manager he had a headache. Doctors at Roosevelt Hospital discovered a blood clot. After the brain surgery, they placed Abdusalamov in a medically induced coma.

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Brownsville's Curtis Stevens Stands Between Gennady Golovkin and Boxing Stardom

Gennady Golovkin, the champion middleweight boxer from Kazakhstan, has knocked out the last 14 men he's faced. He's won all 27 of his professional fights, and in only three of them did his opponent reach the final bell still on his feet.

He's a chiseled, relentless punching machine with power in both hands and arms like pistons. Anyone who's watched him in the ring has seen the talent. But he's fought in America just three times, and he's yet to square off against a grade-A foe. In other words, he's at that step in a boxer's career where the promotional hype machine begins plow a path toward the pay-per-view mega-fights.

Now, a giant poster of his face hangs in Times Square. He's come to New York, like millions of others, to become a star. On Saturday night he headlines HBO's boxing card at Madison Square Garden.

And that's where Brownsville's Curtis Stevens comes in.

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Frank Galarza Brings Another Title to East New York's Starrett City Boxing Club

Categories: Boxing

Frank Galarza, New York State light middleweight champion.
When Starrett City Boxing Club in East New York opened in 1978, it was surrounded by dirt roads and blight. And in the marshes just out back, "people would dump things," says longtime trainer Ewart Chance. "This place used to be a dump."

These days, the smooth, slate-colored, asphalt streets bear a fresh coat of paint, and a new bus line brings residents to the high-rise apartments next door overlooking Jamaica Bay. There's a mall with an Applebee's a few blocks away.

In the time between, many of New York's champion fighters sparred and sweated inside that gym. Jimmy O'Pharrow, the gym's founder, became a legend in the boxing world. A hardline disciplinarian who left his gym door open to all, O'Pharrow sometimes seemed to have an endless supply of fresh talent.

He died two years ago. But his gym still produces champions. Last Saturday, Frank Galarza beat Rich Neves in a fourth-round TKO to win the New York State light middleweight title, bringing another yet belt to Starrett City.

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Ken Norton's Unforgettable Night in the Bronx

Categories: Boxing

Sports Illustrated
R.I.P. Ken Norton, one of the greatest fighters of his generation.
On September 28, 1976, Ken Norton and Muhammad Ali fought for the third time. More than 30,000 spectators filed into Yankee Stadium that night.

The crowd would have been even larger if not for the NYPD strike. So many feared an in evening the South Bronx that the promoters sold just 10 walk-up tickets at the gate. Thanks to the lack of cops, though, spectators in lower and upper decks poured from the stands onto the field, creating a dense horde around the ring, which seemed stationed somewhere between the pitching mound and second base.

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FDNY vs. NYPD in Charity Boxing Match for Wounded Veteran

This Saturday, the NYPD and FDNY are occupying (ha!) Madison Square Garden for a good cause. The NYPD Fighting Finest will fight the FDNY Bravest in the Battle of the Badges, a boxing match for charity. The boxing match is happening just a week after Veterans Day and benefits former soldiers. The proceeds will go to Long Island's Lt. James Byler, who lost both of his legs fighting in Afghanistan.

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Joe Frazier: No One's Second Banana

Joe Frazier's death on Monday from liver cancer was overshadowed by the Penn State sex abuse scandal. Wasn't that always the way with Joe? Something or somebody always seemed to steal his thunder.

He was one of the greatest heavyweight champions who ever lived, losing fights only to Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Yet, he was perpetually in someone's shadow. Some sportswriters went so far as to refer to him as "a second banana." His great trainer, the late Eddie Futch -- the man whom Frazier never forgave for throwing in the towel in the 14th round of the Ali-Frazier Thrilla in Manilla -- once told me, "Remember this about Joe: he ain't no one's second banana."

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