Friday, March 28, 2014
Collazo training with soldiers
By Dan Rafael
Luis Collazo will train at Fort Jackson Military Base to prepare for his May 3 bout with Amir Khan.
Some fighters stay at home to train. Some go to where their trainer's gym is located. Some go away to a secluded camp, often in remote places like Big Bear Lake, Calif.
And then there is former welterweight titleholder Luis Collazo, who treats his fights as though he is preparing for war. So where does he train? Fort Jackson Military Base in South Carolina.
Collazo (35-5, 18 KOs) arrived there this week to begin preparation for his showdown with former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan (28-3, 19 KOs), whom he meets in a 12-round welterweight bout in the co-feature on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana card May 3 (Showtime PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"I love coming down here. It's a great place to focus before a big fight," Collazo said. "The atmosphere in Fort Jackson is great. It's simply an amazing place to train. The troops inspire me. They are disciplined and loyal, and they push themselves to the limit. I admire them. I always gain inspiration from being around them."
Collazo, who is from New York, has trained for many of his fights at Fort Jackson since 2008, although he trained in Brooklyn for his last fight, a second-round knockout of Victor Ortiz on Jan. 30. That was the big win that got him the high-profile fight with Khan on one of the year's biggest cards.
For the fight, Collazo elected to return to Fort Jackson to prepare with assistant trainers Andrew Stokes and Willy Vargas.
"It's nice to get away from some of the distractions at home and to just be here staying focused with my team," Collazo said.
Stokes said it's a good atmosphere to train in.
"The first thing about Fort Jackson is the weather is very accommodating," Stokes said. "I think that one of the most important things about setting up camp here is that Luis really enjoys training with the soldiers, and this is the largest army training facility in the U.S."
Collazo will spend a few weeks at Fort Jackson before returning to New York to finish camp with head trainer and manager Nirmal Lorick.
Khan is preparing at trainer Vigil Hunter's gym in the Oakland, Calif., area.