Unbeaten Uzbekistan welterweight Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0-0, 9 Ko's) takes a step up in class when he takes on the 38-year-old former WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo of Queens, New York on the Beterbiev vs Gvozdyk card at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday 18th October. The fight is being shown live on ESPN in the USA.
Collazo is being viewed as ripe pickings by Abdukakhorov 's management at his advanced age, but, he has scored three very good wins against younger upcoming fighters since losing to then WBA titlist Keith Thurman in 2015. Even in that fight, Collazo came close to pulling off the upset when he badly hurt Thurman to the body in the 5th round. Collazo's corner pulled him out of the fight after 7 rounds due to a bad cut over the New Yorker's right eye.
Abdukakhorov has never faced this level of opposition and I think they have made a mistake. The only way Abdukakhorov win is if Collazo has grown old overnight, which is possible at 38, but on recent showings, I think Collazo will have too much know-how for the 26-year-old.
Abdukakhorov boxes at a good pace behind a high guard using good footwork to bounce in and out of range, very much like the amateur style he grew up with, but Collazo will weather the early storm and slowly break his man down and take over in the second half.
Prediction: Collazo to win a close 10 round decision.