Angel Ruiz took a step forward on his path toward contender status at 154 pounds while Luis Collazo looks like he has finally hung up his gloves for good.
In a crossroads clash, Ruiz dropped Collazo three times en route to a knockout win in round 6 Wednesday night at the Whitesands (also known as the ProBox TV) Events Center in Plant City, Florida.
Ruiz, who is originally from the boxing hotbed of Culiacan, Mexico and now resides in Los Angeles, improves to 18-2-1, 13 knockouts.
In a clash of southpaws, the taller Ruiz was on the offensive from the opening round. The tactic paid off as he stunned Collazo, sending the former world welterweight titleholder against the ropes and on the defensive. Collazo was able to make it out of the round. Collazo rallied during the following round, attacking the body of Ruiz. Undaunted, Ruiz battled back, prompting exchanges between the two that brought cheers from the crowd.
The rally from Collazo did not last long as Ruiz stunned Collazo with than a minute left in the third round. Moments later, a left cross dropped Collazo to the canvas. Collazo did beat the count, but ended up against the ropes as Ruiz connected vicious hooks and crosses that prompted referee Christopher Young to administer an standing eight-count as he thought the ropes held Collazo up. Collazo was able to get through the round.
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Collazo had his moments, fighting in spurts, but Ruiz’s punches began taking their toll. Ruiz continued stalking Collazo around the ring, hoping to land one big punch to finish Collazo. That came early in round 6, as Ruiz landed a well-placed right hook to the stomach, dropping Collazo to the canvas, where he remained as Young counted him out at 32 seconds.
Both fighters embraced in the center of the ring and paid respect to one another after the end of the fight.
“Collazo came from a lot of wars and was a world champion,” said Ruiz, who was coming off a split-decision draw against Jesus Pina Najera in his previous fight on June 24. “He may be older, but you can’t take away his merits of being a champion. You have to respect those fighters. I’m grateful to my team (including trainer Eric Brown). This was a great opportunity for me.”
In his post-fight interview, Collazo announced he was retiring from the sport.
“He caught me with a great body shot,” said Collazo, who won the WBA world welterweight title in April 2005, defeating Jose Antonio Rivera by split decision. “For boxing, I’m done. This is the end for me. Ruiz did what he had to do. I wish him nothing but the best.”
The 41-year-old Collazo (39-8, 20 knockouts), who is originally from Brooklyn, New York and now resides in Riverview, Florida, had not fought since a No-Decision against unbeaten Eimantas Stanionis in August 2021.
In the co-feature, a clash of unbeaten welterweights, Vadim Musaev, who is originally from Russia and now resides in Delray Beach, Florida, knocked out Martin Alvarez in the opening round.
The southpaw Musaev connected with a short left hand to the head of Alvarez, dropping him to the canvas. Alvarez beat the count, but was on wobbly legs, prompting referee Emil Lombardi to wave the fight off at 2:03.
Alvarez, who resides in Los Mochis, Mexico, falls to 7-1, 6 KOs.
In the opening bout of the ProBox TV stream, junior featherweight Jose Salas of Tijuana, Mexico scored an impressive, one-sided victory over Prince Dzanie.
All three judges scored the bout 100-89 for Salas, who improves to 12-0, 10 KOs.
Salas was the more-effective fighter, utilizing superior ring generalship and lateral movement to connect with three and four-punch combinations. He varied his offense enough to keep Dzanie at bay.
Sensing he was down on the scorecards, Dzanie, who is 17 years older than Salas, went on the offensive during the eighth round. Dzanie had his best round, but it was still not enough to overcome Salas’ offense. Salas did score a knockdown in round 9, but a replay showed Dzanie tripped over Salas’ front foot.
Dzanie, who resides in Accra, Ghana, dropped to 23-1, 19 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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