Home Boxing News Oscar Collazo survives second round scare to outpoint Gerardo Zapata and retain...

Oscar Collazo survives second round scare to outpoint Gerardo Zapata and retain WBO 105lb belt

Oscar Collzao. Photo credit: Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy

Classy Oscar ‘El Pupilo’ Collazo 10-0 (7) successfully defended his WBO minimumweight belt with a wide unanimous decision win over a game Gerardo Zapata 14-2-1 (5) at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on Friday night live on DAZN.

The 29-year-old Zapata of Managua, Nicaragua came out firing, keen to make an impression on the fight. He managed to do that in the second round when a right hand landed flush on Collazo’s chin, sending the champion backwards into the ropes and for a moment it looked like we might have an upset on our hands.

But true to form southpaw Collazo, 27, of Villaba, Puerto Rico regained control of the bout and with each passing round, his dominance became more pronounced. Quick hands, clever footwork, punches in bunches and a sustained body attack were the order of the day as Collazo pulled away to win by scores of 117-110, 119-109 and 119-109.

“He hit me with a good shot. It landed well. He had a lot of power to him,” Collazo admitted after the fight. “We boxed intelligently and enacted our plan. Champions are able to stay strong and get stronger with adversity. You get knocked down, you wobble and you get back up stronger and more intelligent. I showed that tonight. I want any champion next.”

CompuBox had Collazo dominating the fight from the third round on, landing 230 of 741 total punches for 30% connect rate compared to 63 of 453 at 14% for Zapata. Collazo also held a 151 to 40 connect advantage in power punches.

Collazo says he can improve on that performance.

“I slept on my defence there. I smiled at him because he got me, but I managed to box through it,” he said.

“I wasn’t entirely happy with my performance tonight because of the second round, but I knew I had control of the fight by the sixth.”

In an interview with The Ring before the bout, Collazo said he was expecting Zapata to come at him aggressively.

“I know he’s going to come in strong for this fight,” Collazo said. “I prepared to the best of my ability and have worked on all facets of my game, which include boxing, countering, staying in the pocket and trading. Most importantly, I’m going to fight a very intelligent fight to put myself in the best place to win.”

The Zapata win was the second for Collazo this year. He wants to return quickly to the ring, possibly September or October.

“One has to fight often to make fans for themselves,” said Collazo. “Fans will support you. I believe fans play an important role in a boxer’s career. I’m grateful to the fans, whether in Puerto Rico or in the United States. It’s great that I have a platform like DAZN, which streams my fights. This allows me to make more fans.

“I think it’s very important and good to defend your world title as often as you can. This is another world title defence. I don’t see the other world titleholders at my weight as active as I am. I’m all about action and being active. We keep working and training and getting better. We want to demonstrate champions work hard in Puerto Rico.”