Collins motivated by 'unfinished business'
Updated: Wednesday, 16 Jan 2013 11:11
Steve Collins has said his proposed fight with Roy Jones Jr is unfinished business and that he will not pose a risk to his own health by returning to the ring.
Collins announced on Tuesday that he is in negotiations for a meeting with Jones Jr to end a 15-year exile from boxing.
Possible venues include China, Russia, Dubai, Britain, America and Ireland with a deal yet to be agreed, but Collins is confident it will take place.
He told RTÉ Sport: “I’m very confident it will happen providing I get 100% with my medicals. If I don’t get 100% with my medicals, it is not going to happen, I wouldn’t consider it. That is the most important thing.
“As regards it happening with promoters, we’ve got some serious contenders in there willing to put it on. We’re just going to go with the best offer.
“I’m 100%, fit as a flea, I’m older and wise and fitter. I started training this weekend. I had a bit of a flu bug over Christmas with this virus going around so I couldn’t do anything."
"I started training this weekend, I started hitting the bag last night and I felt like I had never been away.
“It was a great feeling. I was going through the whole bout in my head on how I’m going to win and what I’m going to do.”
Collins revealed talks came about after an interview with an American radio station that re-opened the feud between the pair in the 90s.
Jones, who turns 44 on Wednesday, has lost three of his last five bouts and Collins believes he wants the fight to enhance his legacy before retirement.
“It came about when I got a call from a radio station in Las Vegas that cover sports and boxing.
“They rang me up and I was talking about boxing and my career. I was more or less telling them that I was very happy with the way my career went and that I couldn’t really have asked for more.
“But the one thing I wanted I said was to fight Roy Jones Jr before I retired. I explained to them that I did everything in my power to make it happen.
"I went to Roy Jones' backyard, I sat in the home with his managers, I climbed into the ring when he fought on TV and he just ran and wouldn’t have anything to do with it. He just didn’t want to. I said he was afraid to fight me, it was never going to happen and I had nowhere else to go at time in my career so I retired.
“This went out on the air in Las Vegas. I don’t know if Roy Jones heard it or was informed about it. But he wasn’t happy with that and kind of came back and said he wasn’t afraid of me.
“He started more or less saying what he would do and how he could beat me and so on. So I just said if he thinks I’ve gone soft in my old age because I’m retired he is making a big mistake because I could do now to him what I said I could do 15 years ago.
“He said ‘okay let’s get it on’ then. I said ‘fine lets get it on’, we put it out more or less to tenders and we’ve had people showing interest. It has kind of taken on a life of its own.
“It was never in the back of my mind. I was retired, I was happy, it just came up. It was one fight that never happened. I honestly believe that I think Roy Jones needs it more than me. He has been claimed as the best pound-for-pound middleweight or super middleweight since Marvellous Marvin Hagler.
“But the one thing that keeps cropping up to him was that he wouldn’t fight Collins and that has really bothered him. He wants one more fight before he retires and this is the one he has to have. He has to have this fight otherwise it will be forever hanging over him.”
The Celtic Warrior has said he is not interested in any other fights regardless of how the bout with Jones unfolds and that he feels he has to take the chance to prove he is the better fighter.
Collins concluded: “It is not a comeback. It is unfinished business. It is a like a 15-year grudge match that has to be settled now. It is a match, it is not an older guy fighting a younger guy, it is two guys from the same era.
“They’ve fought everybody else except each other. It is a fight that should have happened and we have one chance we have to do it.“