Irish based Cuban Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado looks set for a stiff final exam ahead of what he hopes will be a World title shot later this year. The former World Junior Amateur Champion wants to get his hands on a World title in the professional ranks and believes that World rated Ukrainian, Stanyslav Merdov is the last obstacle standing in his way.
The two men clash at The Royal Theatre, Castlebar on Friday, August 17th on the undercard of Henry Coyle's WBF Light Middleweight title defence against Marcelo Rodriguez and Collado will be looking to steal the show.
Merdov is rated eleventh at featherweight by the World Boxing Association and just last November he pushed boxing's longest reigning World Champ all the way when he lost a close points decision to Indonesia's Chris John.
John has held the WBA Featherweight title since 2003 and has made 16 successful defences but he was pushed all the way by Merdov when they met in Australia last year. The Ukrainian has since bounced back with a win and now is set to take on Collado in what should prove to be an acid test for Cork based 24-year-old.
"I want a big win to prove that I am ready for a World title fight," declared Collado. "Merdov has just challenged the longest reigning World Champion in boxing and only missed out on a close points decision so he is the perfect test for me. I want to give a performance that will make the World Champions sit up and take notice because I would jump at a fight with any of them."
Collado has so far racked up 15 straight wins in the pro ranks with all but one of those coming inside the distance. Previous victims have included former World Champion, Felix Machado, former World title challenger, Cristian Faccio and then World rated Franklin Varela and now Collado wants to add Merdov to that list.
However the Ukrainian has his sights set on another World title tilt. The Donetsk native was a talented amateur regularly featuring on the Ukrainian national team alongside the likes of Wladimir Klitschko and Andriy Kotelnyk while his reputation in the professional ranks has never been higher following his impressive challenge to John on away ground.
"Collado has a nice record but this fight has come too soon for him. Cubans are great amateurs do they not always make great professionals and I will expose him. I am a big, strong, hard punching featherweight and I really believe I can finish this fight by knockout. I proved against Chris John that I am up there with the best boxers in the world. I want another world title fight and a win over a good prospect like Collado should present me with that opportunity."
Next months card also features the return of Cavan's Andy Murray as he looks to get back to winning ways following his points defeat to European Champ Gavin Rees in Cardiff last year. Murray faces Argentina's Sergio Priotti in a scheduled 8 round contest.
The undercard will have plenty to interest local fight fans as well with an intriguing all Connaught middleweight clash between Galway's Alan Donnellan and Roscommon's Darren Cruise. At the age of 39 Sligo's long time Irish amateur stalwart Stephen “Block” Reynolds is something of a late comer to the pro ranks but having enjoyed a debut win on Belfast at the weekend the heavy hitting cruiserweight is set for his second pro outing on the Castlebar card. Also in a local derby two Ballyhaunis boxers will punch for pay for the first time on the card - against each other welterweights Michael Waldron and Brandon Peake face each other on their professional debuts in an all Mayo affair.
Tickets for the August 17th event priced €40, €60 and €100 are available from the Royal Theatre Box Office on 0818 300 000, Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300 and the boxers on the bill.
For all the latest visit brianpeterspromotions.com or check us out on Facebook or Twitter.