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Luis Collazo-Victor Ortiz: Boxer versus puncher?

Fighters Network

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Luis Collazo sees himself as the boxer and views Victor Ortiz as the puncher in their Jan. 30 matchup at Barclays Center in Collazo’s hometown of Brooklyn. The clash of former welterwweight titleholders will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

"I'm not a big, one-punch knockout artist," said Collazo, a 32-year-old veteran who, like Ortiz, is a southpaw. "I think that the accumulation of my shots could hurt a fighter, while Victor's known for a big punch. But he fought different people. I'm not those fighters. Maybe I might take those shots better than other fighters. Who knows? Come Jan. 30, we'll find out."

Collazo (34-5 with 17 knockouts) has gone 3-0 with one knockout since his last defeat, a 10-round unanimous decision to Freddy Hernandez, who dropped him in the eighth round in October of 2011.

"It's going to be electric. Any time that you fight in New York, just the fans alone, it's just tremendous. They show you tremendous support," said Collazo, whose last fight was a unanimous 10-round decision over Alan Sanchez in Texas.

"Being a local guy, it's definitely going to be like that come that night. I'm very excited. I'm stoked. I'm going to go out there and stay with the game plan. I'm going to perform, regardless. I'm the type of fighter that just wants to give the boxing fans what they want, which is excitement."

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Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) will be ending a 19-month ring absence, having been cast for a role in the third installment of Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables and Dancing With The Stars.

Ortiz was last in the ring in June of 2012, when he suffered a ninth-round stoppage loss to Josesito Lopez after which he required a two-hour surgery to repair a broken jaw.

"I missed everything about boxing and fighting," said Ortiz, during a conference call on Wednesday. "I'll tell you one thing that I didn't miss — you guys."

Ortiz was to be on December's undercard of Marcos Maidana‘s unanimous decision that dethroned Adrien Broner before his scheduled opponent, Alfonso Gomez, suffered a hand injury and had to pull out of the fight.

Following a majority draw with current IBF 140-pounder beltholder Lamont Peterson in 2010, Ortiz debuted as a 147-pounder and dethroned Andre Berto as WBC titleholder by unanimous decision. There were four knockdowns in Ortiz-Berto — two by each fighter.

In his next fight in September of 2011, however, Ortiz lost the belt by fourth-round knockout to Floyd Mayweather Jr. before facing Lopez.

"I've learned a lot," said Ortiz, 26. "As a youngster, I've learned a lot very quickly. I consider myself a veteran just like Collazo. I'm right there."

Ortiz felt Collazo deserved the verdict in his unanimous decision loss to Berto in January of 2009.

"I still think that he beat Berto," said Ortiz. "He was kind of short on people [judging correctly] that fight."

In a junior middleweight clash of unbeatens, Eddie Gomez (15-0, 10 KOs), of The Bronx, will face Daquan Arnett (11-0, 7 KOs), of Winter Park, Fla.

Ortiz-Collazo will take place three days before the NFL’s Super Bowl, which will be held on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., less than an hour drive from Brooklyn.

"I think between the way that the Barclays Center has marketed the event, and what my marketing staff has done, and what Fox has done. I think that there's going to be plenty of attention to the fight,"  said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. "There's a time for everything, and I think that come Thursday night, the place to be in New York is going to be The Barclays Center, so I'm very happy about that."


Videos / Bill Emes