Luis Collazo promised that he wouldn’t lose to Victor Ortiz in front of his hometown fans on Thursday night, and he backed that statement up—emphatically.
Collazo (33-5, 18 KO), a former WBA welterweight champion from Williamsburg, scored a stunning second-round knockout at the Barclays Center, and in the process, gave his career a new lease on life.
Ortiz (29-5-2, 22 KO), himself a former champion at 147 pounds, came out of the corner chomping at the bit. He hadn’t fought in over 18 months and seemed determined to make a statement by landing something big early.
But it was Collazo, known for his boxing ability, and not his power, who carried the night. A massive counter right hook in the closing seconds of the second round left Ortiz with wobbly legs.
He was forced to take a knee and did not beat the count.
It’s a devastating setback for a fighter who just over two years ago found himself in there with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, and it’s uncertain what, if any, future he has left in boxing.
In the co-featured bout of the evening, undefeated junior middleweight prospect Eddie Gomez scored a seventh round knockdown on a body shot, and pounded out a unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Daquan Arnett.
Scores were 98-91, 97-92 and 97-92.
The fight, which was more competitive than the scorecards would indicate, was really a story of two bouts. On the outside, boxing, Arnett was the superior fighter. But when Gomez was able to get on the inside, his superior power was the decisive factor.
In the opening contest of the evening, super featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14 KO) remained undefeated, stopping the woefully overmatched Miguel Tamayo in the fourth round.
Russell, who remains one of the better prospects in the sport, has been frequently and harshly criticized for continuing to face sub-par opposition on his path to a title shot. He is currently the mandatory challenger for WBO super featherweight champion Orlando Salido.