Eimantas Stanionis vs. Luis Collazo: Pressure on Pressure

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It's a classic welterweight battle between unbeaten rising contender Stanionis and former world champ Collazo in a 147-pound main event this Saturday on FOX PBC Fight Night.

It’s time to bring on the next wave of welterweight contenders. 

This Saturday, August 7, live from The Armory in Minneapolis, unbeaten rising welterweight contender Eimantas Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs) faces his toughest task to date in the form of crafty former world champ Luis Collazo (39-8, 20 KOs) in a 10-round test of mettle. 

The FOX PBC Fight Night card which will also air on Fox Deportes (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) also features undefeated two-time Venezuelan Olympian and fast-rising welterweight contender Gabriel Maestre against tall and tricky southpaw Mykal Fox for the Interim WBA Welterweight title. 

Kicking off the broadcast, former two-division world champion Devon Alexander will return to the ring for a 10-round welterweight showdown against Luke Santamaría.

The Story

Eimantas Stanionis grew up a street-fighting kid in Kaunas, Lithuania. He found discipline and purpose in boxing, becoming a decorated amateur and representing his home country in the 2016 Olympic games. 

Since moving to California and turning pro in 2017, Stanionis has made a name for himself as a mature-beyond-his-years fighter on the fast track to main stage status. 

2020 became a breakthrough year for the prospect, with stoppage victories over Justin DeLoach and Janer Gonzalez, as well as a high-water mark unanimous decision win over Thomas Dulorme. 

Saturday’s bout with Collazo represents another full step forward on Stanionis’ career climb.

21-year veteran and former world champ Luis Collazo has seen it all and done it all in the sport of boxing. 

After sharing the ring with names such as Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, and Keith Thurman—and giving them all a rough time—the Brooklyn native is definitely not intimidated about meeting up with an ambitious, undefeated up-and-comer. 

In recent years, Collazo has assumed the role of spoiler, badly hurting a red-hot Thurman with a body shot in 2015, then scoring victories over Sammy Vasquez, Bryant Perrella, and Samuel Vargas from 2017-2019. In his most recent bout, he lost a controversial technical decision to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov in October 2019.

The Stakes

For Stanionis, a win on Saturday means another step forward en route to the elite of the deep and lucrative welterweight division. For the 40-year-old Collazo, beating this young lion puts him right back into the thick of things at 147 and, possibly, earns him one more run at a world title. 

The Matchup

The 26-year-old Stanionis is poised, steady, and mature beyond his pro years. A stalker by instinct and design, he likes to come forward and put pressure on opponents with a balanced, measured aggression. There is no wasted movement in the Olympian’s game and his vast experience in the amateurs helps him maintain his cool ring demeanor.

Working behind a stiff jab thrown with conviction—both to the head and body—he has a solid assortment of punches. His best power shots, however, are a quick left hand and a sweeping right. 

On defense, Stanionis keeps a high guard and shows all-around solid technique. He’s yet to be knocked down as a pro.

Lithuania has never had a pro world champion, and I want to make history. Undefeated Welterweight Contender - Eimantas Stanionis

The southpaw Collazo is a crafty professional who has forgotten more boxing than most fighters ever learn. He fights at a smart, controlled pace and, as a 40-year-old with some mileage on him, chooses punch placement judiciously. He’s also adept at using angles to maximize efficiency as well as minimize the need to expend energy. 

Defensively, Collazo uses angles and his advanced ring IQ to stay out of harm’s way. Further, he’s proficient at rolling with shots. 

The Words

Eimantas Stanionis

"Collazo has faced the top guys, and he likes to fight fire with fire as I do. I am prepared for an action-packed fight. I have to win and keep winning. I want to get to the world title shot. Lithuania has never had a pro world champion, and I want to make history. I have great competition on Saturday, and I want to show that I can compete with any of the top guys."

Luis Collazo

"I can’t wait for Saturday night. It’s been a long road, and I’m just eager to step back in the ring and do what I do best on fight night. Right now, the only thing he has on me is age. Age doesn’t matter, though, when you fight and stay in the gym as I do. That’s what I do for a living...no excuses are coming into this fight."

The Breakdown

It would be easy to characterize this bout as the young, stud contender against the grizzled veteran—youth and strength against guile and craft. But things aren’t that simple here. 

Stanionis is skilled, disciplined, and crafty in his own way. Collazo, meanwhile, may have earned an abundance of guile over the course of his career, but he’s still plenty strong and quick. 

The youth vs. cunning dynamic may be a factor, however, in how well Collazo can deflect, defend, and generally deal with constant pressure from the 14-years-younger Stanionis. The Lithuanian is no rabid beast in pursuit of his opponents, but he does apply pressure that tests the conditioning and resolve of opposition. It’ll be interesting to see if the battle-tested veteran can neutralize the younger fighter’s come-forward style and inject some doubt into his mind.

As a savvy southpaw with a good grasp on angles, Collazo has the ability to be present without being in danger. A four-inch reach advantage will also help—at least in theory—keep the fight at a comfortable distance. 

Stanionis, though, is not your average pressure fighter. He has skills and patience that cast some doubt on whether his game can be canceled out by craft and guile. So far, he’s been utterly unflappable in the ring, showing no signs of being thrown off-course by old school boxing technique or sleight of hand. 

Stanionis vs. Collazo will be an intriguing matchup of styles and skills that will test the mettle of both fighters. Does Stanionis have what it takes to step up to the elite class of the welterweight division? Does Collazo have what it takes to make it back to the elite class of the welterweight division? 

There will be answers to all questions on Saturday.

For a closer look at Stanionis vs Collazo, check out our fight night page. 

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