Mayweather vs. Maidana Undercard: Preview and Prediction for Khan vs. Collazo

Briggs Seekins@BriggsfighttalkFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2014

Mayweather vs. Maidana Undercard: Preview and Prediction for Khan vs. Collazo

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    Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images

    On the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana pay-per-view this Saturday, British star Amir Khan returns to action against experienced New Yorker Luis Collazo in a potentially exciting welterweight matchup. The vacant WBC silver title is up for grabs. 

    That's not a very significant title, but it does makes this a 12-round fight.

    Both of these fighters have had setbacks in their careers, but the rewards for a win in this one could be huge. These are a couple of veterans who understand what is at stake, so expect a proper battle in this one.

Tale of the Tape

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    Damian Dovarganes
    Per BoxRec     Amir Khan     Luis Collazo
    Record:     28-3, 19 KOs     35-5, 18 KOs
    Height:     5'8.5"     5'9"
    Reach:     71"     72"
    Weight:     147 lbs     147 lbs
    Age:     27     33
    Stance:     Orthodox     Southpaw
    Hometown:     Bolton, Lancashire      Queens, New York
    Rounds:     167      235

    Khan and Collazo both have good reach for welterweights. They both have respectable punching power, with Khan holding the better overall KO percentage. 

    Khan is just 27, but the Olympic silver medalist has been in high-profile fights since his early 20s. At 33, Collazo is a well-travelled veteran who turned professional in May 2000. 

    This is a southpaw-orthodox matchup, which always has the potential to complicate things for both fighters.

Main Storylines

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    This is the fight that might produce Mayweather's next opponent. Khan was a frequently mentioned potential opponent last fall before Maidana's dominant performance against Adrien Broner in December bumped the Argentinian to the front of the line. 

    So a dominant win on the undercard for Khan this Saturday could earn him his golden ticket in the Mayweather sweepstakes. Khan has suffered two devastating losses by stoppage in his career, to Danny Garcia and Breidis Prescott, but he is one of the few fighters in the division with speed comparable to Mayweather's. 

    When 2014 started, nobody would have been mentioning Luis Collazo and Floyd Mayweather in the same sentence. But last January, Collazo jumped all over former Mayweather opponent Victor Ortiz and knocked him out in two. 

    Another upset win by knockout on Saturday night could make the longtime veteran a sentimental favorite for a big payday against Mayweather. It's unlikely such a fight would be remotely competitive, but nobody else has been competitive with Mayweather in a long time. 

    In terms of a matchup, this fight is interesting. Khan is the younger man who should be in his prime, but he's struggled the past couple of years, even when winning. Collazo has seemed to be on the downside of his career for a while now, but he enters this fight coming off a thrilling knockout win.


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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Amir Khan is a very good technical boxer with excellent speed. When fighting on the outside, his boxing presents problems for nearly anybody in the world.

    Khan has solid punching power. He has fought at the highest level as an amateur and has been a world champion as a pro. 

    Luis Collazo uses a shoulder roll to slip punches and does a good job of covering up and returning with the lead right hook. He's a tricky southpaw who walks opponents into his left hand.

    Collazo is durable and stands up well in a firefight. He's not exactly a knockout artist, but he's got pop in both hands that has to be respected.


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    Eric Jamison

    Amir Khan has been stopped twice in his career in dramatic fashion, so his chin has to be considered questionable. He also has a dangerous tendency of allowing himself to be drawn into close-range brawling, where all his natural advantages are negated. 

    His desire to mix it up cost him a close fight against Lamont Peterson that I thought he should have won anyway. It made his 2010 win over Maidana much closer than it needed to be. 

    Luis Collazo has trouble with quick-handed opponents who can keep him on the outside. This could make Khan a tough opponent for him. 

    Collazo lunges at times, especially with his lead hook. If Khan can start to time that punch, he'll be able to deliver some jolting straight-right counters.

Amir Khan Will Win If...

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    Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images

    Khan needs to execute a smart, controlled game plan. He has to use his footwork and jab to keep Collazo on the outside, where he can take advantage of his speed. 

    Khan has to avoid getting overaggressive and spending too much time exchanging up close. Against a southpaw like Collazo, there's even more danger than normal of him walking into a big punch with disastrous consequences. 

    Collazo has slightly better reach than Khan, so Khan's going to need to use movement and create angles to make sure he can get off quicker. To win this one, Khan has to be a boxer first and a fighter only when Collazo gives him no other choice.

Luis Collazo Will Win If...

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    USA TODAY Sports

    If Collazo can manage to get his lead right foot on the outside of Khan's lead left, he will have an excellent chance of negating Khan's jab and setting him up for his own lead hook. That basic footwork battle is one of the most essential technical aspects of a southpaw-orthodox matchup, and it will be crucial in this one.

    Collazo needs to make Khan uncomfortable. He's got to touch him up, hurt him a little bit and draw him into a brawl. Khan's got a fighter's heart, and it can be used against him at times. 

    Khan has better hand speed, but Collazo is going to need to be ready to time the space in his punches and fire back. There's a danger he will get scored on heavily if he covers up and hesitates on the outside.


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    Jon Super

    Amir Khan's history almost always makes him a cautious pick. But he's the quicker fighter with the better skills, so he should win this fight. 

    I'm picking him to win a competitive but decisive unanimous decision. 

    If I'm correct, the really pressing question moving forward will be whether or not the win will be enough to make the boxing public buy in for him as an opponent for Floyd Mayweather. I think it will be a tough sell. 

    Khan is a talented fighter with elite speed, but the vivid memories of him on the canvas against Danny Garcia and Breidis Prescott are going to make it hard for fans to accept him as a credible opponent to the pound-for-pound king. 

    So I'm picking him to win by unanimous decision. But I'm not sure he'll win in impressive enough fashion to get the fight he's spent years waiting for.