Steve Collins has strenuously denied suggestions that his fight with Roy Jones Jnr won’t be going ahead this summer, instead saying the bout is on track and he is “so up for it, you wouldn’t believe, I’m just waiting on the date now”.
His brother Roddy yesterday told the Irish Examiner the exact opposite, saying, “No, no, that’s never going to happen, that’s off”. However the former world super-middleweight champion stated: “Roddy wasn’t up to date on it all and wasn’t in a position to say whether or not it was going ahead. And it is going ahead.”
Steve also rubbished suggestions his age was any sort of a medical issue, given the testing he has undergone.
“I’ve been training every day for this fight, I’ve got my medicals, and they are very stringent and beyond the norms because of my age and they want to be sure I’m able for this,” he continued. “The age matter comes up in certain boxing jurisdictions but not all over the world. Sure only a couple of weeks ago Bernard Hopkins, who is the same age as me, won the world title against a young guy [the 48-year-old American beat Tavoris Cloud to win the IBF Light-Heavyweight title in early March].
“So the age is not really important. The fact he won a world title confirms I can do this, and he was fighting a young guy, that won’t be the case when I get in the ring with Roy.”
In terms of how close the fight is to happening, Collins maintained it’s just a matter of sorting out a couple of contracts as all the hard work has been done.
“We’ve got money in place to secure the fight,” he added. “Right now a sports management company are sorting out television and a venue. As soon as we have that on board, we will then announce the fight, the venue and the date.”
Asked whether Nottingham was the likely venue, Collins said he has stepped back from that side of things although there are numerous options still on the table.
“I’ve just been talking to a guy who owns a rugby league ground and he wants to host it but I am just saying. ‘Look, I’m up for it’ and I put these people on to the management company in London. They need to talk to them, not me.
“But I’m getting offers from the Unites States, Abu Dhabi... but I’m just getting ready for the fight, so I’m not getting involved in any of that. I’m inundated but I want to get it done right because it’s a once off, it’s a big fight, myself and Jones have a licence to fight anywhere in the world and it will be happening. Plus, I’m really in good shape, I’ve been training since Christmas, getting ready to start the serious stuff, and I just can’t wait for it now.”
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