Collazo vs Zapata Predictions: Knockout win for the prodigy

 | Friday 7th June 2024, 12:12pm

Friday 7th June 2024, 12:12pm

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WBO strawweight champion Oscar Collazo defends his title against Gerardo Zapata on Friday, June 7. The world title bout takes place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. DAZN will televise the card.

Here are my Collazo vs Zapata predictions ahead of this battle for the belt.

Collazo vs Zapata Tips

  • Collazo in round eight @ 8/1
  • Collazo by knockout @ 2/11

Collazo vs Zapata Odds

Collazo has had it all his own way in the pros, turning over the year after winning gold at the 2019 Pan American Games. The 27-year-old has gone 9-0 with seven knockouts, with three stoppage wins in world title fights already. It has been a fast rise for the man ranked as the second-best strawweight in the world by The Ring magazine.

Gerardo Zapata is rather lucky to be getting this title opportunity. The Nicaraguan hasn’t won a fight since January 2022, when he outpointed journeyman Bryron Castellon. That was Zapata’s 14th consecutive career win, all coming in four or eight-rounders.

Since then, Zapata is winless in his last two. He was disqualified in the second round of his toughest fight so far, against world title challenger Rene Santiago. Then last time out, Zapata went to a split draw with Azael Villar. Not exactly the sort of form you expect to net someone a world title opportunity.

Particularly with a champion of Collazo’s quality in the opposite corner. We have seen relatively little of the WBO kingpin in the ring considering he is a titleist. Nine fights is obviously a small sample size. But what a talent. 

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In just his fifth bout, Collazo beat former two-time world champion Vic Saludar by decision. The Filipino fighter was the last person to take Collazo the distance and the only fighter to do so over 12 rounds. Since then, the 27-year-old has stopped four men, with three of the victories coming in world title fights.

Collazo claimed the WBO strawweight with a seventh-round victory over Melvin Jerusalem. This victory is particularly impressive considering the fact Jerusalem beat Yudai Shigeoka two fights later and is now the reigning WBC champion at the weight. 

Collazo has stopped both Garen Diagan and Reyneris Gutierrez in title defences. An impressive display here could make a compelling case for his primacy in the division. 

I think that case will be made on Friday night. Collazo is too strong and persistent for Zapata to survive, I feel. Both fighters are attack-minded southpaws but Collazo looks more solid in the pocket. This could be a war while it lasts but I feel that favours the champion. 

I see a furious exchange of fists in this one, but that is a battle that plays into Collazo’s hands. That is why I am picking him to retain the WBO championship by knockout in round eight at odds of 8/1. Collazo is composed, powerful and poised under pressure. All elements that make this a relatively straightforward night for ‘El Pupilo’.

Unification fights feel like the next logical step for Collazo. A bout with IBF kingpin Ginjiro Shigeoka would net the winner the vacant The Ring championship. Then there is the possibility of a rematch with Jerusalem for the WBC crown and a possible WBA title match-up with Thammanoon Niyomtrong. The journey to these fights begins on Friday. A big win needed for Collazo.

You can find all our latest boxing betting tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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