Oscar Collazo entered fight week with the mindset that his title defense was going to end well inside the distance.

The unbeaten WBO strawweight titlist entered the arena floor well aware that he had to deliver on that promise.

His word was ultimately good, as Collazo blasted out Nicaragua’s Reyneris Gutierrez in the third round of their DAZN co-feature Saturday evening at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

“I can’t lie, I was a little worried when the crowd already started booing us when the fight began,” Collazo joked to BoxingScene.com over the phone after the fight. “But low key, I knew I was gonna steal the show.”

The night ultimately belonged to Tijuana’s Jaime Munguia (43-0, 34KOs), who floored England’s John Ryder (32-7, 18KOs) en route to a ninth-round stoppage in the evening’s headliner. The crowd was hyped by that point, between anticipation of the unbeaten Mexican’s 2024 debut and being primed by Collazo’s performance less than an hour before the main event.

Collazo (9-0, 7KOs)—who is co-promoted by Hall of Famers Miguel Cotto (Promociones Miguel Cotto) and Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions)—was not afforded that same luxury.

His bout was preceded by an awkward style clash that saw Houston’ Darius Fulghum (10-0, 9KOs) go the distance for the first time in a ten-round decision win over Alantez Fox. The two fighters were booed throughout their sloppy affair, which spilled over into the early moments of Collazo’s second WBO title defense.

It didn’t take long to sway the crowd.

“I had to do it that way. I think the crowd was very happy with my performance in the end,” noted Collazo. “I gave them an action-packed fight. There was no holding, no headbutting. It was a clean, exciting fight and I’m glad I was able to win them over.”

The win saw Collazo lodge the second defense of the title he won in a seventh-round stoppage of the Philippines’ Melvin Jerusalem last May 27 in Indio, California. Collazo informed Boxing Scene that his next bout will likely be in late April.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox