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Monday, June 15, 2020

Kaminsky to Face Collard on Thursday

David Kaminsky is scheduled to battle Clay Collard on Thursday, June 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. There will be no fans in attendance as a measure to stop the spread of Coronavirus-19.  The bout will air on ESPN as part of the Jose Pedraza-Mikkell LesPierre undercard.

Collard is not your average 6-2-3 boxer from Utah. The 5'11" 27-year old is a veteran MMA fighter with a winning record in that sport who has participated in the UFC. Since becoming a professional boxer three years ago, Collard has been in tough. Counting Kaminsky (6-0 3 KOs), his last eleven opponents will have entered the ring against Clay sporting a combined 65-3 record, which reveals his 6-2-3 mark to be quite impressive.

Collard only won one of his first five boxing matches, but he has improved a ton since. His balance is better and he found his identity as an iron-faced volume puncher. He has won five out of his last six boxing fights. His most impressive win came last September when he hurt and knocked down Gerald Sherrell in the first round on his way to capturing a six-round unanimous decision victory over the Pittsburgh prospect. Sherrell had participated in the latest version on The Contender and KOed Quatavious Cash in the competition. Sherrell was coming off of a win over veteran Morgan Fitch.

Kaminsky is a southpaw, but Collard has faced several quality lefties. In his last fight back in February, Collard hurt hot prospect Raymond Guajardo, a southpaw, in the first round with a sneaky counter left hook, the same punch that floored Sherrell in the opening round of their bout. After Guajardo was counted down again when his gloves touched the canvas, he came back with a snapping left that put Collard down. Collard rose and in the second stanza kept landing to the head and body. With blood pouring out of Guajardo's nose, the fight was stopped and Collard had his second career stoppage victory.

The 19 year old Kaminsky hasn't fought anywhere near the level of competition as has Collard. This will be the eleventh fight for Clay since May 18, 2019 while Kaminsky has fought only twice in that span.

Collard is an awkward fighter. As is common among MMA fighters who switch to boxing, Collard's stance is a bit square and his right foot comes forward in front of the left when he shoots the right hand, an indication of poor balance. Collard will often stay as a southpaw when his right foot comes forward and is as effective from either stance, though he prefers fighting orthodox. Despite this flaw, his balance has improved since he started boxing for money. Collard throws a lot of arm punches just meant to keep on the pressure. He's adept at varying his punch speed and power.

Collard's defense consists of blocking punches with his cheeks. But Collard shrugs off head shots as if they're a summer's mist. 2016 Olympic medalist Bektemir Melikuziev,a southpaw, set the template for how to beat this improved version of Collard. The two-time World Championship medalist controlled center ring with his precise powerful pot-shots for the first three rounds. Then he went to the body and scored two knockdowns before the fight was stopped in the fourth. Collard was the heaviest of his career by far for the Melikuziev fight last November, which didn't help Clay.

Kaminsky didn't experience anywhere near the level of success as an amateur as Melikuziev did, but he has a similar style. This bout will be a true test for the Israel-native who lives in California. It is somewhat of a trap fight. With the unusual circumstances brought on by COVID-19 and Collard's unassuming record and awkward style, this bout seems like a bit of a high-risk low-reward endeavor for Kaminsky. But a win will show that he is a prospect with a very bright future.

The fight will take place at super middleweight, which is an advantage for Kaminsky. It's scheduled for six rounds, a distance in which Collard has fought three times. Kaminsky has never seen the fifth round as a pro as of yet.

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