Collazo vs. Benavidez Jr. set for Aug. 17 in L.A.

Former welterweight world titlist Luis Collazo and former world title challenger Jose Benavidez Jr. will meet on Aug. 17 in the 10-round main event of the first boxing event scheduled to take place at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Top Rank announced on Monday.

The Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET with preliminary bout streaming on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET) will also include junior featherweight world titlist Emanuel Navarrete defending his belt against Francisco De Vaca in the co-feature.

Banc of California Stadium opened in 2018 and serves as the home field for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles FC. The setup for the fight will be an area in one corner of the 22,000-seat stadium.

Collazo (39-7, 20 KOs), 38, of Brooklyn, New York, has won three fights in a row since a seventh-round knockout loss to world titlist Keith Thurman in July 2015. Collazo, whose lack of activity in recent years was caused mainly by injuries, is coming off a split-decision win against Samuel Vargas in March in his first fight with Top Rank.

"I'm coming for everything they said I couldn't have," said Collazo, who held a welterweight world title from 2005 to 2006 before losing it by controversial decision to Ricky Hatton. "Talk is cheap. I'm here to show that I'm still one of the top welterweights in the world."

Benavidez (27-1, 18 KOs), 27, of Phoenix, a former interim titlist at junior welterweight, suffered his only defeat in his last fight. He traveled to welterweight world titlist Terence Crawford's hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, in October and got knocked out in the 12th round of a one-sided fight.

Now Benavidez begins his comeback.

"I am very focused, and I see this as a must-win fight," Benavidez said. "Collazo has been in the game for a long time and is still a top fighter, but I am going to push him towards retirement. He looks good for his age, but trust me, youth will prevail when we fight."

Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs), 24, of Mexico, will be making the second defense of his 122-pound belt after outpointing Isaac Dogboe to win the title in December and then stopping him in the 12th round of their rematch in May.

"This is a great opportunity to defend my title against an exciting fighter like De Vaca," said Navarrete, who has won 22 fights in a row since 2012. "I've worked hard to prove myself as a true champion, and I won't let anyone take that away from me. It's going to be a great night outside in Los Angeles."

De Vaca (20-0, 6 KOs), a Mexico native fighting out of Phoenix, signed with Top Rank last August and will be taking a big step up in opposition.

"This is the fight of my life," De Vaca said. "I am going to show my Mexican heart and prove to the world that I belong on the world stage. I'm not going to talk any trash. I have a lot of respect for Emanuel Navarrete, but his reign will end on Aug. 17."

Top Rank said the ESPN+ portion of the undercard would include fights involving junior welterweight Arnold Barboza Jr., welterweight Chris van Heerden, middleweight Janibek Alimkhanuly and featherweight Adam Lopez.