By Tom Mauriello,

On Thursday January 30th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York we will have an epic fight between Luis Collazo (34-5 (17KOs) and Vicious Victor Ortiz (29-4-2 (22KO’s) Collazo looks to keep his three fight win streak intact and resurrect his career as Ortiz looks to get his first win inside of a boxing ring since 2011. Both fighters have had their fair share of time off in recent years. Ortiz suffering a knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather returned to the ring 9 months later to have his jaw Broken against Josesito Lopez in June of 2012. Ortiz has not fought since then, and looks to get back on track with a win against Collazo.

Luis Collazo is a crafty veteran that can break fighters down with his experience. He is very disciplined and calm with solid defense. Collazo uses the classic tool of cutting off the ring to make you work even when he is not throwing punches. Collazo has an excellent vision inside the pocket of his shoulder roll defense, but scares me with it, as he will leave the right hand down as his opponent is punching. I feel that if you keep throwing punches at him, eventually one will get in. With that being said, he does not put himself into danger that often which was made clear by going the distance with Andre Berto, Shane Mosley and Ricky Hatton. Collazo is a true crafty boxer as many men are that come from Starrett City boxing in Brooklyn New York.  Coming off of an impressive three fight win streak, one may call this return to the bright lights of the Barclays Center a resurgence in a difficult career plagued with promotional issues and injuries. This is a man that can fight competitively to the final bell against any man at welterweight and is not to be taken lightly. He will have his entire hometown behind him on Thursday the 30th as he locks horns with Victor Ortiz.

There are many choice words used in the boxing community to describe Victor Ortiz. People call him a quitter, pretty boy, crybaby, and some other choice words that are not to PG.  My word to describe Victor Ortiz (which will come with much criticism) is warrior. After suffering a fractured jaw in the 5th round of his fight against Josesito Lopez, Victor Ortiz would continue to fight for four more rounds until Lopez would de-hinge Ortiz’s jaw with a left hook in the 9th round. The questions about Ortiz’s heart have to stop. The man is a fan friendly fighter who will always engage and throw bombs with his opponents. The Maidana situation was awful, and I even called him a coward after saying that this sport may not be for him. Since then he has yet to be in a fight that is not exciting. A great fight with Nate Cambell and Lamont Peterson followed up with an all out war with Andre Berto. Since then he is on a two fight losing steak taking him into his showdown with Luis Collazo. Victor Ortiz is a fighter that has a lot in his arsenal. He does not come in looking for a win on the judge’s scorecards. Ortiz comes at your with everything he has and tries to put you on the mat. He looks to finish fights and can do so with either hand. The only issue in his game is the lack of defense he has once on the attack. He has been put down several times in his career due to leaving himself wide open when throwing hard shots. When fighting open, he is a counter punchers dream opponent with his aggressive style. Though he is a “boxer puncher” he shy’s away from the sweet science skills in efforts to hurt his opponents. He also gets frustrated easily in fights, and becomes dirty. We saw this with the Mayweather head butt as well as the Lopez shot behind the head.

This will be an excellent fight where we will see a true practitioner in Luis Collazo against an ultra aggressive puncher in Victor Ortiz. The key to victory for Luis Collazo is to not wage into the war that Ortiz will look to have. He cannot stand and trade with him. Colazzo does have some pop, but needs to use his feet and head movement to box Ortiz. Me must counter Ortiz, and use his knowledge of the ring to make Ortiz chase him down. Collazo is slick, and throws accurate combinations while moving. He must use the stick and move approach and not allow Victor to get off strong shots. Ortiz is always in shape, and it will be a long night, but this is the only way I see Collazo winning this fight. Frustrate Ortiz, and dictate the pace. Collazo must make this a boxing match, rather then a brawl.

Ortiz needs to stay disciplined and choose his shots wisely. Ortiz has the traditional style of keeping his hands tight to his face, with his elbows in. He fires his jab with power, hooks well off of it and throws an excellent upper cut as well. If he utilizes these skills, he will be able to walk Collazo down and inflict punishment. The punishment must be tactical due to the excellent defense Collazo possesses. If it is not he will be countered and out punched all night. A disciplined, Victor Ortiz wins this fight. He is going against and opponent that is battle tested. Though Collazo is not a huge puncher, he will counter and out work Ortiz with his slickness if Victor comes in like an animal. Rather then being a bull, he must choose when to engage. I feel Ortiz has the power to put Collazo away, but must work at it and not smother himself as he has done in the past. He has speed, but chooses to throw power rather then quick hands. In this fight he must use his hand speed and movement. He must work his jab and make Collazo think.

This will be a fan friendly fight exciting fight in my eyes. Collazo has the chance to establish himself as an elite welterweight after being put to the side for the majority of his career. Collazo is a very talented fighter who can make a solid run at money fights. For Ortiz, it’s all about respect. He has to get back into the win column. He has huge fights on his resume, and the ability and a recognizable name that people want to see. Both fighters are as tough as they come, and Victor will not be met with a warm welcome as he is coming into Colazzo’s hometown. It will be a hard fought battle, but in the end, I feel Vicious Victor Ortiz will have his hand raised.

Follow me on Twitter @OfficialT_Mauri

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