Unification bouts are hopefully on the horizon for Oscar Collazo.
For now, a mandatory title defense is likely in his immediate future.
The unbeaten WBO strawweight titlist awaits his marching orders for his next bout, with a mid-spring date targeted in his native Puerto Rico. Collazo (9-0, 7KOs) has already made two successful defenses of the belt he claimed last May, the most recent which came in a third-round knockout of Reyneris Gutierrez on January 27 in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I know the mandatory is coming up and that’s okay,” Collazo told BoxingScene.com. “I’m really just ready to fight anybody.”
The WBO has yet to formally order the fight or assign a specific challenger. Mexico’s Luis Castillo (21-0-1, 13KOs) is the current number-one contender with both the WBO and WBC. BoxingScene.com has learned that the unbeaten Los Mochis native remains in talks to potentially next face Australia’s Alex Winwood (4-0, 2KOs) in a previously ordered final title eliminator.
Should the title fight not go to Castillo, then the WBO would go down the list of available challengers. One spot below Castillo is the Philippines’ Vic Saludar (24-6, 14KOs), the former WBO titlist whom Collazo already defeated in a July 2022 WBA title eliminator. Saludar has since won three in a row.
After that is another former WBO titleholder in Japan’s Masataka Taniguchi (17-4, 11KOs), who lost the belt to the Philippines’ Melvin Jerusalem (21-3, 12KOs) last January 6 in Osaka. Jerasulem lost the belt to Collazo less than five months later in his first title defense. He remains ranked number-four, but is already committed to next face WBC titlist Yudai Shigeoka (8-0, 5KOs) on March 31 in Nagoya, Japan
“It really doesn’t matter to me who the WBO tells me I gotta fight,” insisted Collazo. “I just want to stay active, fight often and make a lot of money. Hopefully whoever they get me, we can do it here in Puerto Rico.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox