BROOKLYN, NY (Jan. 16, 2014)-- Brooklyn-born former WBA Welterweight World Champion Luis Collazo is dedicating his crucial January 30 fight for the WBA International Welterweight title against former World Champion and crossover star "Vicious" Victor Ortiz to The NephCure Foundation, a kidney disease non-profit with which he has a special connection.
The two-time New York City Golden Gloves Champion (34-5-3, 17 KO's), now a 32-year-old veteran hunting another world title opportunity, will wear www.NephCure.org on his robe and trunks for the main event of the Thursday, Jan. 30 show live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes in honor of 15-year-old Allie Genatt, who suffers from the incurable kidney disease FSGS. Genatt, who underwent a kidney transplant at age 11, lives in Brookville, Long Island and is a prime mover in advocating for more research to find better treatments and a cure for her affliction.
Genatt will join Collazo at the pre-fight press conference and will be ringside at Barclays Center on Jan. 30 when her friend Collazo meets Ortiz, the welterweight standout who lost his WBC welterweight title to the great Floyd Mayweather in 2011. The 26-year-old Ventura, Calif. fighter (29-4-2, 22 KO's) is returning from a broken jaw in a loss suffered at the hands of Josesito Lopez in June 2012. Ortiz is also an entertainment personality outside of boxing, having appeared in ABC's Dancing With The Stars Season 16 last year.
"As a former - and future - world champion, I've reached many of my goals in boxing. Now I want to use the platform of this fight to call attention to Allie's battle with FSGS and to The NephCure Foundation, which funds research into finding a cure," stated Collazo. "NephCure needs to find patient families dealing with these kidney conditions in the Hispanic communities of New York City and I can help them do that."
FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis), which afflicted the late actor Gary Coleman and interrupted the NBA career of Alonzo Mourning, is a disease that damages the kidney function, often requiring dialysis or transplant. Genatt received her mother's kidney via transplant in 2010 and now fights off relapse because the disease attacks the new kidney in 50 percent of cases.
In preparation for her surgery, the then 11-year-old Genatt engaged in a physical fitness regimen of boxing and met Collazo through her trainers, Scooter Honig and Eddie O'Boyle at Competitive Edge Athletics in Port Washington. Honig trains Collazo and other athletes and celebrities such as LL Cool J at the Long Island facility. Genatt's father, Rich Genatt, is a member of The NephCure Foundation Board of Directors and Allie speaks at meetings of Nephrologists and organizes fundraising walks for NephCure while attending Jericho High School.
"It is so exciting for me and NephCure to be part of Luis Collazo's team for this major event right here in Brooklyn," said Allie Genatt, who hosted Collazo and his trainers at NephCure's Annual Countdown to a Cure event in New York City in November. "Our message is that NephCure (www.NephCure.org) is a great resource for people suffering from FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome. We have a dynamic community and we want to find and help other families."
Ortiz vs. Collazo is a 12-round fight for the WBA International Welterweight title presented by Golden Boy Promotions. Barclays Center doors open at 6:00 p.m. ET with the first bell sounding at 6:30 p.m. ET. The FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes broadcast airs live at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets for Ortiz vs. Collazo are priced at $25, $43, $80 and $160 plus applicable taxes and service charges and are available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 800-745-3000 and at Barclays Center American Express Box Office. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK. A limited number of suites are available for the event. For more information on how to reserve one, please call 718-BK-SUITE (718-257-8483).