Collins Jnr vows to return stronger

Stevie Collins Jnr aims to come back stronger than ever after a serious shoulder injury derailed his burgeoning boxing career on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old cruiserweight, son of two-weight world champion Steve, tore ligaments in his right shoulder during his fourth professional fight and is facing up to four months out of the ring, with surgery required to fix the problem. Collins, who also plays competitive rugby for London club Rosslyn Park, has been troubled by the problem for a while and it “really went” in the first round of his four-round bout against Tommy Gifford.

Despite the pain from the injury, which precluded him from throwing his right hand throughout, Collins managed to hold out for a draw, although many spectators at ringside thought he still did enough to pick up his fourth win as a professional. This week he will seek specialist advice and undergo surgery. He is unlikely to box again before June.

He admitted: “I’m in agony now. I’ll be out of action for a while but I’ll still keep fit and active, working my left hand. In the first round I felt it go, but in the second it really went. I talked to the doctor afterwards and it turns out the shoulder’s torn. I probably shouldn’t have taken the fight but being eager and hungry and having sold a lot of tickets, I couldn’t let people down. ”

It was the first time that father Steve had been his son’s cornerman after taking over the reins from his brother Pascal, the esteemed Dublin trainer. He said: “It was my first time I’d done the corner and I enjoyed it. It’s frustrating what happened but I enjoyed watching him and seeing just what he can do. He’s hard on himself and I understand that because we’ve all been there. I’m very happy because I look for raw talent, which for me is heart and intelligence. He showed me that tonight. In the circumstances he was exceptional. He’s a warrior and he has a great mindset. This injury is something that has been threatening for a while. If it didn’t happen tonight it would be happened in the next fight. He’ll come back stronger and wiser.”


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