By Marc Livitz: Luis Collazo is no stranger to title fights. The former welterweight champion holds competitive bouts with such names as Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton and Andre Berto to his credit. This evening at the Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio, Texas, Collazo continued his march back towards a title shot with a unanimous decision victory over Alan Sanchez.
The main event was preceded by a bit of a somber moment as those in attendance stood for a memorial count of ten for former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison, who passed away this weekend at the age of 44.
Sanchez showed good lateral movement in the first and he caught Collazo more than once with straight rights. The orthodox versus southpaw matchup didn’t quite materialize right away. Luis pushed the action a bit more at times in the second. He had Alan backing up a bit, but his opponent from northern California answered back with his right hand. Collazo controlled the distance throughout much of the third and landed effective head and body shots. Sanchez let his hands go at times, but was wise enough not to overdo. Luis popped Alan with a quick left as the bell sounded.
He ducked a number of shots throughout the fourth period. Collazo was still dictating the pace but not exactly looking to close the show. Sanchez connected with four consecutive rights as the fifth was underway. Still, he found himself with little room to run as the former champion from Brooklyn kept him moving from corner to corner. His third fight back after undergoing labrum surgery was going his way. He put his jabs and lefts together. With half of the contest completed, Collazo was in the lead, although it wasn’t completely his fight to lose.
Time and again in round six, Luis managed to get Alan to walk to his right, which would effectively set up Collazo’s dominant left hand. Sanchez seemed to be tiring and was mostly looking to counter. He seemed to awaken a bit in round seven. He landed a few combinations and made Collazo reconsider taking a round off. Luis continued to bang away at the body of Sanchez and had the Fairfield, California fighter a bit winded.
Collazo caught Sanchez with a hard left near the end of round eight, which was a three minute span of Alan punching and Luis countering the majority of his shots. Sanchez didn’t slow down in the ninth. He continued to move around the ring, yet he was still walking into the hard lefts of the former world champion from New York.
He tried to find Collazo with a decisive shot in the tenth and final stanza, but he never seemed to push the deal through. He’d land a shot or two, but he wouldn’t follow them up. The fight went the distance and the judges were left to decide the outcome. In the end, their scorecards read as follows for the winner of the vacant WBA international welterweight title: 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. Luis Collazo improved this evening to (34(17)-5), while Alan Sanchez’s defeat brought his record to (12(6)-3).