• Boxing

Khan's opponent considered suicide

ESPN staff
May 2, 2014
Amir Khan and Luis Collazo are fighting on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr's fight © Getty Images

Amir Khan's opponent Luis Collazo has revealed his struggles outside of the ring almost led him to commit suicide.

The pair go head to head on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr's bout with Marcos Maidana.

Collazo, who knocked out Victor Ortiz on January 30 to retain his WBA welterweight title, has laid bare details of the alcohol addiction which almost ended his life.

Returning Khan focused on Collazo

Amir Khan last entered the ring over a year ago © Getty Images
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"I got to a point in my life, I even thought about committing suicide. I was in a dark place. I turned to alcohol. I turned away from my family and friends," Collazo said.

"When I was younger I used to have guns in my house. In the last four years I moved and didn't take them with me for some reason. I believe if I would have had them with me that night I would have done something. When you are drinking you think you are going to be in a different place.

"People only see you when you are in the light, then you have to go home and face a regular lifestyle. I don't like being in the spotlight, I like being around my family. I noticed when I was pulling away from them there was something wrong.

"For me to pull away from my daughters - they are my passion. And my wife was even scared to come home because she didn't know the type of person she was going to come back to. And when she told me that, I just broke down crying. She didn't want to see me like that."

Collazo, who was beaten by Ricky Hatton in 2006, is now part of a scheme to help others who are encountering similar problems he managed to overcome.

"Back in Brooklyn I'm doing something with teenagers getting in trouble, to set up a boxing programme to show them some type of discipline and to let them know that it's not over yet," he said.

"Just because you are going through some issues, you can still change your life if you really want to. I started drinking when I was inactive. It just grew. I wasn't happy, I was coming off a victory over Steve Chambers but there was something missing.

"I wasn't a big drinker at the time but it was something I just turned to. Now I realise it would just bring me back to the same thing when I was sober again."

Khan, set to make his debut at welterweight, last entered the ring over a year ago when he overcame Julio Diaz in Sheffield, with the Briton eyeing a future fight against Mayweather Jr.

But for Collazo, the 33-year-old believes he has a lot to lose if he is beaten by Khan on May 3.

"This fight against Khan is my whole career right in front of me," he said. "I believe if I beat Amir Khan I have a bigger future in boxing and if I don't, I have to start from the bottom again."

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