By: Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent
Queens, NY– In an exclusive ringside interview with Real Combat Media during a boxing card at Resorts New World Casino in Queens, New York, on Saturday evening, December 8, 2012, former World Boxing Association Welterweight champion Luis Collazo and his manager Wilson Naranjo called out former light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight champion Miguel Cotto for a bout they hope can be held next year at the Barclay’s Arena in Brooklyn or Madison Square Garden in New York City. Cotto, coming off losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout for the WBA light middleweight title, might find a bout with the 31 year old Collazo interesting, as both parties are Puerto Rican and the extravaganza their bout could cause in New York City could trigger massive ticket sales for such a bout among Hispanic and Latino boxing fans.
Southpaw Collazo won the WBA Welterweight title from Jose Antonio Rivera in 2005 and defended it once, against Miguel Angel Hernandez in 2005. Collazo subsequently lost WBA and WBC World Welterweight title bouts to Ricky Hatton, Andre Berto and Floyd Mayweather Jr. A bout with Cotto could jumpstart his career once again. In his most recent outing this past October, Collazo won an eight round decision over 26-1-1 Steve Chambers at the Barclay’s Arena in Brooklyn.
Collazo turned pro on May 16, 2000, with a first round knockout of Jose Maldonado at Yonkers Raceway. His career professional record is 32-5 with 16 knockouts.
First, Collazo will have to get past 25-0 Canadian welterweight prospect Phil Lo Greco, who will fight in Brooklyn at Barclay’s Arena on February 9.
Real Combat Media: “You are fighting 25-0 Canadian Phil Lo Greco next.”
Luis Collazo: “We found out today (Saturday) we are going to be fighting Lo Greco at Barclay’s Arena. I’m exalted. There’s nothing like fighting at home. He’s is an undefeated Canadian (25-0), and he’s going to come to win.”
Real Combat Media: “Do you see light heavyweight Dhafir Smith knock out 47 year old Rob Garris earlier this evening? Garris was trying to win his pro debut.”
Luis Collazo: “That’s way scary, man. Thing about boxing, even if you’ve got a losing record (Smith is 2-4) you’ve got a chance. I’m sure Rob Garris got a concussion. I feel bad about it.”
Real Combat Media: “Why do you want to fight Miguel Cotto, Luis?”
Luis Collazo: “I always wanted to fight Miguel Cotto. I am a Puerto Rican from New York. He’s a Puerto Rican from New York City. I am a Nueva Yorker Rican. Cotto is a Puerto Rican. I feel I am a better fighter than he is. I will fight Miguel Cotto at the Barclay’s Arena, at Madison Square Garden, in his backyard, it doesn’t matter where.”
Real CombatMedia: “How will you beat Cotto, Luis?”
Luis Collazo: “I think I can stop Cotto on an accumulation of punches and cuts.”
Real Combat Media: “Would you fight Cotto at 147 pounds as a welterweight, or go up to 154 pounds where Austin Trout and Canelo Alvarez are now.”
Real Combat Media: “Do you feel comfortable fighting Miguel Cotto as a southpaw?”
Real Combat Media: “Tell how it feels to fight in Brooklyn’s new Barclay’s Arena.”
Luis Collazo: “Fighting at the Barclay’s means everything to me. Being from Brooklyn’s, Barclay’s Arena is the best place, and there is no better place.”
Real Combat Media: “Luis, do you feel impatient beating opponents while waiting for another world title opportunity?”
Luis Collazo: “No. As a fighter, you have to stay focused, stay on track and wait your turn for a title shot.”
Real Combat Media: “Khan, Bradley, Maidana, Malignaggi, Cotto, Alexander, Marquez are among those welterweights out there. Luis, where are you in the mix?”
Luis Collazo: “My February 9, 2013, bout at Barclay’s Arena against Lo Greco will hopefully be an eliminator for the WBA belt held by Paulie Malignaggi.
Real Combat Media: “Sugar Shane Mosley has called out Malignaggi. While you fight your eliminator bout with Lo Greco, will Paulie fight Mosley at Barclay’s?”
Luis Collazo: “Sugar Shane Mosley is done! In his last fight against Canelo Alvarez, he looked like he had no gas left in his tank. I don’t know if it was an off night he had or he was done.”
Real Combat Media: “Luis, who are you sparring with to get ready for Lo Greco?”
Luis Collazo: “Hopefully I will be sparring with Frank Galarza, Issouf Kinda and Chris Algeri. I feel my selected sparring partners have great styles to prepare me to get ready for the Lo Greco bout.”
Real Combat Media: “Luis, your bout with Phil Lo Greco is on the Barclay’s Arena undercard to Danny Garcia versus Zab Judah. Would you be willing to go down in weight to 140 to fight the winner of that bout, if the opportunity was offered?”
Luis Collazo: “No. I think the welterweight division is the hottest one right now. No, 147 is my weight. I have not been down to 139 pounds since I was 14 years old.”
Real Combat Media: ” Let’s talk about Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Danny Garcia.”
Luis Collazo: “Floyd will look at Danny Garcia before Canelo Alvarez. Floyd is at the top of the food chain now. Garcia is talented, but Floyd will be him hands down.
Real Combat Media: “Let’s talk about Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez.”
Luis Collazo: “Floyd knows if he takes the Canelo Alvarez fight he’ll be 110% confident to win. Floyd’s not going to fight if he believes he cannot win. To beat Floyd, you have to be 100% mentally prepared, which (his last opponent) Victor Ortiz evidently wasn’t.
Real Combat Media: ” Luis, Best wishes. Good luck on February 9 at Barclay’s.”
Luis Collazo: “Thank you. I appreciate it!”
Real Combat Media: “Wilson, why did you pick Phil Lo Greco to fight Luis?”
Wilson Naranjo: “Phil Lo Greco is world ranked and the best option here at the moment if we (the Collazo camp) want to get another world title opportunity.”
Reader’s Note: 25-0 Phil Lo Greco is ranked # 9 WBA, # 13 WBC, # 14 WBO of world ranked welterweight lists found at http://www.fightnews.com/rankings-2
Real Combat Media: “Would you like to see your fight (Collazo) versus Cotto?”
Wilson Naranjo: “We would love to see Luis fight Miguel Cotto! Put them together, and Cotto’s style and Collazo’s style will definitely make a good fight.” Golden Boy has a deal with Barclay’s Center, which translates to 12 fight dates a year for three years. Supposedly the deal calls for 36 fight cards at Barclay’s.”
Jim Foley is the head promoter of Old World Boxing.
Jim Foley: “Consensus here is 36 fight cards in 3 years is never going to happen. But, if somebody’s going to do it (make it happen) at Barclay’s, it will be Golden Boy Promotions.”
Reader’s Note: Golden Boy Promotions is next promoting Amir Khan versus Carlos Molina on December 15, on the internet at: http://www.goldenboypromotions.com/
Real Combat Media: “Wilson, tell us about the role of the fans at Barclay’s Arena?”
Wilson Naranjo: “February 9 will be the second fight card at the Barclay’s Center. Luis fought there this past October. I Like Barclay’s Center. Luis is from Brooklyn, he has a huge fan base here. ”
Real Combat Media: “Do you want Luis to fight Cotto at 147 or 154 pounds?”
Real Combat Media: ” Will Miguel Cotto accept the call out challenge of Collazo?”
Real Combat Media: “Is Miguel Cotto past his prime?”
Wilson Naranjo: “I think so. Luis will take Miguel Cotto out in the later rounds. For sure, I look forward to working with Golden Boy. Also, Golden Boy is doing another show at Barclay’s on March 9. Bernard Hopkins is on that card. Juan Dominguez is among our other fighters who will be fighting on that card.”
Jim Foley:” It will be a great fight! A great New York fight.”
Real Combat Media: On behalf of Real Combat Media, thank you.”
Reader’s Note: Owing to financial constraints at a commercial venue, the Juan Manuel Marquez versus Manny Pacquiao fight card in Las Vegas was not shown on the big screen as hoped at Resorts New World Casino in New York City after the Vinny Maddalone eight bout card, which was co-promoted by Felipe Gomez of New Legend, Jim Foley of Old World and Wilson Naranjo W.O.N. Promotions was completed. This enabled the interview to continue in the Food Court of the casino, where the promoters put their stamp of approval on a proposed Collazo-Cotto bout.