Friday, September 22, 2023  |



Oscar Collazo puts his belt on the line against Garen Diagan in Puerto Rico

Oscar Collazo - Photo courtesy of Miguel Cotto Promotions, LLC.
Fighters Network

On Saturday, Puerto Rican strawweight Oscar Collazo will put his WBO title on the line for the first time against Garen Diagan at the famed Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Collazo, The Ring’s No. 3 rated strawweight, knows he has to be careful of his upset-minded challenger.

“I think it’s a very interesting fight, he comes from the Philippines, where a lot of good boxers come from and they come to fight,” Collazo (7-0, 5 knockouts) told The Ring. “I know that his last two bouts he has upset the favorite and won. He’s coming in with nothing to lose and I think it’s going to be a great fight. It’s going to be action packed fight. I’m going to demonstrate my skills and my I.Q in the ring as always and put on a show in front of my fans.”

The 26-year-old acknowledges his rivals strengths but feels he has more than enough in his own arsenal to emerge victorious.

“I’ve got to be careful of his backhand, he utilizes his backhand very well and maintains the distance,” said Collazo. “He’s going to box on the backfoot, so I think we’ve got to move the head and dig to the body, I think that’s going to be the key of this fight.

“I saw various weaknesses, he drops his front hand when he throws his backhand, he doesn’t utilize the jab. That’s a point in my favor, I use my jab a lot to open my punches and he’s going to make a lot of mistakes because I’m not going to stay in front of him and I’m going to make him think and I’m going to get the counterpunch in. That’s a problem he’s going to have.”

Back in May, Collazo claimed the WBO title by stopping Melvin Jerusalem (RTD 7) in Indio, California. It was understandably a special moment in his life and career.

“We made history, we were the fastest Puerto Rican to win a championship, in my seventh fight,” he said. “I dreamt about it every night. Making it possible is a dream come true. I inspired a lot of people from my hometown, young boxers. A lot of people saw the hard work I put in through the years and everything I told them I was going to do, I did it.

“I didn’t celebrate yet because when I got the win they told me I was going to fight August 26. I had a week to get the television and media interviews [done] and then the next week I started camp. Things I’ve got to do. After this fight, if everything has gone good, I can celebrate.”

The win put Collazo’s name alongside some illustrious company in his homeland.

“I talked to Ivan Calderon, [Alex] ‘Nene’ Sanchez, people who were [world champions] in the same weight class,” he said. “Ivan, one of the best in Puerto Rican boxing, taught me a lot. He’s a legend to me, he was a great fighter and he’s a great trainer now. He see’s me having a great future.”

This also marks the first male world title fight on the boxing hungry Island since Wilfredo Mendez defended the WBO 105-pound title in October 2019.

“A lot of people have been waiting on this moment,” he said proudly. “I think it’s going to be a great card. DAZN coming to Puerto Rico for the first time to see me making my first title defense. I thank Golden Boy and Miguel Cotto Promociones for giving me that opportunity to defend in my hometown.”

Collazo is focused on the task in hand but hopes to close out the year with another fight before aiming at his rival champions in 2024.

“We’ve got an idea that we fight in December if everything goes good here, no cuts etc,” he explained. “My goals is to defend as many times as I can. [I’m] hoping next year I can unify and fight another champion.

“Big things are coming, August 26 you’re going to see a great version of Oscar Collazo, the great I.Q of boxing and the strength always there. It’s going to be a big show.”

Former four-weight world champion turned promoter, Miguel Cotto, believes his fighter has a bright future.

“Oscar is a special, gifted talent,” said Cotto. “He has everything to have a successful career and become a multiple weight world champion. He will be the face of boxing in Puerto Rico.”

Diagan (10-3, 5 KOs) turned professional in August 2016. After winning his first three fights the Filipino lost his fourth fight against Marco John Rementizo (UD 6).

The now 27-year-old, who has beaten six unbeaten fighters, stopped April Jay Abne (TKO 1) but was upset in a rematch (KO 5). He suffered another setback against former world title challenger Danai Ngiabphukhiaw (UD 10). However, he has since scored road wins over Simpiwe Konkco (TKO 7) in South Africa and, most recently, Huu Toan Le (SD 12) in Vietnam.

This is a big occasion for Puerto Rican boxing and Collazo in particular. He has to be focused on the task in hand and not be sidetracked and feel the pressure of headlining at home. I feel he can do that and take over in the second half of the fight and score a late stoppage or win a 12-round unanimous decision.

Collazo-Diagan, plus undercard action, will be broadcast live on DAZN at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.


New Faces: Oscar Collazo – The Ring (


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].