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Collazo: The title stays at home

Puerto Rico's Oscar Collazo (in this 2019 photo) wants to keep the title (Photo by Cris BOURONCLE / AFP)

Puerto Rican world champion Oscar Collazo won’t hand the World Boxing Organization minimumweight crown on a silver platter to Filipino challenger and fellow left-hander Garen Diagan this Saturday night (Sunday in Manila) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Making the first defense of the WBO 105-lb throne, Collazo is in fact determined to give Diagan an unpleasant stay and uncomfortable trip back to the Philippines.

“I am very happy, there is little time left and we are in the best condition for August 26 and everyone will see and we will defend our Championship in front of all my people,” the unbeaten Collazo said during a break in his open media training at the Felix Pagan Pintor municipal gym in Guaynabo.

Collazo and Diagan are set to square off in a scheduled 12-rounder at the Roberto Clemente Stadium.

Regarded as the emerging face of Puerto Rican boxing, Collazo parades a 7-0 win-loss record with five knockouts.

Diagan, the third Filipino puncher tapped to battle Collazo, totes a 10-3 ledger with 5 knockouts.

It’s going to be an uphill battle for him as he will only be arriving in Puerto Rico on Friday (Saturday in Manila), giving him just a little over a week to shake off jet lag and the effects of the trans-Pacific travel.

In fact, as Collazo was staging his training session, Diagan was getting ready to head to the airport.

Collazo had won the title when Melvin Jerusalem was forced to quit on his stool last May in Indio, California.

Before that, Collazo had claimed his first Filipino victim, Victorio Saludar.

“For me it is a pride to fight and be the face of all Puerto Ricans, I look forward to seeing you all on August 26,” Collazo added after his workout.

This will be Diagan’s first world title shot and his fourth time fighting overseas as he and Collazo rekindle the heated and fabled ring rivalry between the two countries.

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