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By Jack Obermayor: In what constituted the real event for local fans - and the major reason why the unification cruiserweight title fight between Wayne Braithwaite and Jean Marc Mormeck ended up in Worcester in the first place - Jose Antonio Rivera, 147, Worcester, defended the down-sized version of the WBA welterweight title against two week sub, southpaw Luis Collazo, 147, Brooklyn, New York.
Rivera, 32 in five days, and out of action for 19 months - ever since winning the vacant title against Michel Trabant in Germany, wanted to impress the hometown crowd. He almost pulled it off, but alas, he lost the title. All scores were 115-113, with two of them going to Collazo
Rust or no rust, Rivera came out swinging hard and often and the gleeful fans ate it up. His southpaw foe looked distressed, but managed to hold up through the pressing action of his hyped opponent. The middle sessions were - shall I say - shades of Gatti-Ward. The challenger - on my card at least - took three of those fours rounds. Collazo traded when he had to and danced when it mattered. Rivera had a difficult time countering that movement, but when the two met, it was sparks o'plenty.