Luis Collazo’s Bid For Khan Underscore
s How The Mighty Have Fallen:
I doubt that when 32-year-old Luis Collazo called out Amir Khan, he realized just how much he was underlining the statement he was making about the state of so many boxing careers, and not just his own.
First, look at Amir Khan, who Collazo described as a virtual stepping stone in getting a shot at Floyd Mayweather. Not so long ago, a fringe contender like Collazo would have been satisfied with just the shot at “King Khan,” nevermind where the longshot odds victory might have led. That fight would have been a main event, earning Collazo a payday at least equal to the best of his career (Andre Berto, Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton).
Now Khan is just a guy Collazo thinks he not only needs to beat to get into the Mayweather sweepstakes, but that he actually can beat on top of that. If that doesn’t crystallize just how far Khan’s stock has slid in the public’s perception, nothing can.
Collazo can thank his January victory over Victor Ortiz for the newfound stature, with Ortiz as another career decline he has put the spotlight on. “Vicious” Victor is a former Mayweather sweepstakes winner who owns a hard-fought win over Andre Berto. Berto, meanwhile, has previously defeated Collazo; while Ortiz also has a a Draw against Lamont Peterson, who happened to score a controversial win over Khan.
Ortiz used to be a serious contender, but he has barely fought since losing to Mayweather, and now he is the kind of washed up “name” fighter that Luis Collazo — a good fighter and a former titlist, but never more than a fringe contender — can stop in two and use as a stepping stone.
Come to think of it, some of Collazo’s contemporaries and former conquerors are looking much worse than he does these days. Ricky Hatton is just a few years older, and has been out of the game for a long time. Andre Berto’s career has imploded almost as badly as Ortiz’s. What Collazo’s survival demonstrates is an age old lesson in boxing: bright, shining talent counts for a lot, but so does consistency.
After all this time, Collazo has clawed himself back into the big-fight hunt, while former foes Berto and Ortiz are on the outside looking in, Hatton is long-since retired, and Khan is continually bypassed as he prefers to wait on the sidelines that prove himself in the ring.