The pair clash on Thurman’s home turf in Tampa, Florida on Saturday night and the 26-year-old (25-0-0-KO21) is well aware how damaging handing the belt back to the New Yorker (36-6-0-KO19) could be.
Collazo won the title from Jose Antonio Rivera in 2005 but lost it the following year to Ricky Hatton and has since suffered defeats to Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Freddy Hernandez and, most recently, Amir Khan a year ago.
With Collazo now 34, Thurman said: “I don’t see a lot for me to gain… but I have a lot to lose, depending on how the performance ends up.
“People can call me a hype job. You guys know the sport of boxing. At the end of the day though, you try to take one victory at a time, one training camp at a time, one opponent at a time – and keep moving to the top.
“I’m trying to create a career for myself – but not just any career. I’m trying to create a legacy. In the midst of having great fights, sometimes you just have a fight.”
Thurman has made no secret of his desire to face divisional kingpin Floyd Mayweather Jr, although he also recently acknowledged the claims of IBF champion Kell Brook.