Collins Scores TKO

SEE FULL GALLERY OF PHOTOS FROM ALL THE FIGHTS IN THE “GALLERY” SECTION: “FIGHT FOR HOPE”


Collins Scores Rare KO

By Don Stewart, Reading Eagle

After he rocked Jorge Delgado with a right hand shortly into Saturday night’s main event, Keenan Collins began listening to voices.

“I heard everybody in the crowd saying: ‘Take your time, take your time, don’t rush it, don’t rush it,’ ” Collins said. “That’s why I tried to keep my composure.”

Collins had been waiting more than five years to score a knockout, so what was a couple of more minutes?

The Reading junior middleweight’s patience paid off in the closing seconds of the opening round, when he scored a vicious one-punch knockout of Delgado to wrap up the “Fight for Hope” boxing card at the Sovereign Center.

The 34-year-old Collins (13-5-2, 9 KOs) fired two long jabs, then shot a straight right that sank into Delgado’s jaw. The Allentown underdog crashed onto his back.

Delgado (4-10) somehow beat referee Gary Rosato’s count, but he fell into the ropes as he stood up, convincing Rosato to stop it just as the bell rang to end the round.

“Wow! It’s been a long time since I felt that right hand,” said Collins, who hadn’t scored a knockout since February 2006.

Collins also won for the first time since October 2006, ending a six-fight winless streak. He’s blamed that dark period on personal distractions that he says are now behind him.

“I’ll be in the gym tomorrow,” Collins said. “I’m in shape. I want to fight again right away.”

In a junior lightweight bout, Allentown’s Elliud Torres (5-2-2) held off Pottstown’s Travis Thompson (4-8-1) in an entertaining six-rounder.

Torres, who was 41/2 pounds heavier and had a much longer reach, punished the relentless Thompson from a distance through the first three rounds.

Thompson got inside and pounded Torres’ body to take rounds four and five, but Torres got back on his toes to win the final round with long-armed counters.

In another exciting junior lightweight scrap, Reading’s Cesar Gonzalez was held to a four-round draw in his pro debut by State College’s quick-fisted Oshahon Omo-Osagie.

For the 35-year-old Gonzalez, the debut fulfilled a lifelong ambition. He overcame significant legal issues and two gunshot wounds to finally get his first pro fight.

“It was a beautiful feeling,” Gonzalez said. “I just want to say thank you to everybody that gave me a shot and believed in me and didn’t judge me on my past.

“I’m not stopping. This just shows I can do it.