Collazo, Hernandez to fight Saturday

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Call this one the Battle of the Bridesmaids. Luis Collazo (31-4, 16 KOs) and Freddy Hernandez (29-2, 20 KOs) have between them lost to some very good competition. Andre Berto has beaten both men, and Collazo has lost to Shane Mosley and Ricky Hatton. Both men have fought for world titles; only Collazo has worn the belt, having once held the WBA 147-pound strap. Evidently that pedigree is not enough to make air when they face off Saturday night on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight.

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Collazo has been the better of the two men, all told. Collazo went the full 12 rounds and nearly stole the decision from Andre Berto — the cards went 111-116, 113-114 (twice). Berto was penalized one point for excessive holding, and had Collazo’s thunderous shot in the first round impacted Berto’s chin with just a bit more force, the fight may well have been a majority draw. Meanwhile, Berto clobbered Hernandez, knocking him out at 2:07 of the very first round.

Neither man has a truly signature win to his credit; Hernandez’s best scalp was Ben Tackie in 2007, which would be the first of six losses in a row to end Tackie’s career. Collazo, despite having been a world champion, won the belt from a beef jerky dried-out Jose Antonio Rivera (who would fight the rest of his pro career at junior middleweight) and a past-his-prime Miguel Angel Gonzalez.

This fight will be contested at junior middleweight and is unlikely to impact the title picture of any of the major organizations — there are simply too many men ranked ahead of these combatants for the champions to fight. At best, the winner will become cannon fodder as an “optional” defense in much the same way that Darren Barker got thrown in front of Sergio Martinez.

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