RingTV.com conducted a Q&A with former welterweight titleholder Luis Collazo, who will pursue his third straight knockout against hard-hitting Freddy Hernandez at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Collazo-Hernandez will take place on the non-televised undercard to the main event featuring RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins against Chad Dawson on HBO Pay Per View.
Collazo (31-4, 16 KOs), of Brooklyn, once held the WBA’s welterweight belt. The 30-year-old southpaw last suffered defeat by close unanimous decision against current IBF welterweight beltholder Andre Berto in January of 2009.
Collazo has since scored knockouts over David Gogichaishvili and Franklin Gonzalez in the sixth and third rounds, respectively.
Collazo earned the WBA title following a split-decision that dethroned Jose Antonio Rivera in April of 2005, and defended that crown with an eighth-round stoppage of former world titleholder Miguel Angel Gonzalez in August of that year.
Collazo was dethroned following a unanimous decision loss to Ricky Hatton in May of 2006, and lost a subsequent bid for the WBC’s interim belt by unanimous decision to Shane Mosley in February of 2007.
The 32-year-old Hernandez (29-2, 20 KOs), of Mexico City, is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Berto in November of last year.
Hernandez had won 12 straight fights, six by knockout, since losing a split-decision to Golden Johnson in February of 2005.
RingTV.com: What do you mean by that?
RingTV.com: Is there any frustration given you were so close to winning your last fight against Berto?
You’ve got to pay your dues, and I believe that I’ve paid my dues, and that now is my time again. I’m preparing myself for that time, and when it comes, I’ll be ready.
RingTV.com: What do you want to get out of this performance?
I’m going to be back on those televised fights. This is going to be a good fight. I believe that Hernandez only got two losses. And he comes to fight.
He’s an exiting fighter, and he’s aggressive. I’m an aggressive fighter as well, but I can also be a technical fighter. But this fight should have been televised.
But at the end of the day, I’m still excited and I’m still pumped up to be in this atmosphere. This is my first fight back in a while and it’s my first fight with Golden Boy.
I’m going to impress them. They’re going to be really, really impressed at the end of the day.
RingTV.com: Does it factor that you might want to knock this guy out early since Berto stopped him in the first round?
If the opportunity for a knockout comes, then I’m taking it. But I’m not going in there looking for the knockout. I’m going to go in there and take care of business and get the “W.”
RingTV.com: What would happen next for you if you’re victorious?
Only time will tell. I just have to get over this fight here, and then it’s up to my promoter, Golden Boy, and then we can take it from there.
Photos by Scott Foster, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org