Collins-Benn bout 'unlikely'

A fight for the ages Steve Collins installed as favourite for Nigel Benn bout

Even though Steve Collins has a marvellous pedigree and has beaten Benn twice in the nineties, we believe Nigel will be more popular with the punters as he's a household name following his famous fights with Chris Eubank.

Benn, who won world titles at two different weights, ended his career with two defeats to Ireland's Steve Collins in 1996.

Nigel Benn has turned his attention away from Chris Eubank to fight Steve Collins for a third time in a bout he feels he needs to give him closure on his boxing career. So I asked him if he wants to fight.

'He said "yes". No mucking about'.

Napton fighter Michael Cole has been handed an unexpected chance to steal the limelight tomorrow evening after being called up as late replacement to fight Conor Benn at the O2 Arena in London.

"It's just about money, a payday which will allow me to buy some more land", Collins told the BBC.

"I had no real interest or thought of fighting Nigel Benn again, but I said "well if the money's right Nigel, then of course I will". I have a lot of respect.

The pair are planning to apply for licensing by the British Boxing Board of Control, although are willing to seek sanctioning elsewhere in a bid to get the fight made.

Dubliner Collins hasn't fought since beating Craig Cummings in July 1997, retiring as the WBO Super Middleweight champion while Benn hasn't been in the ring since losing twice to Collins in 1996.

Collins has not fought in nearly 20 years, with an attempt to come out of retirement in 1999 halted when he collapsed during a sparring session.

"I've got no other desire to do it". Nigel Benn also looks in pretty good condition and has remained fit during on-going conversations with Eubank. "I feel like I am in my thirties", he said.

Collins, nicknamed "The Celtic Warrior", has worked as an actor since his last professional fight, appearing in the 1998 film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

However, there is no date or venue for a third fight and neither retired boxer - both over 50 - has applied for a boxing licence. For 20 years, at least. There's no disadvantage to anybody. "Excellent" was how the neurosurgeon described it.

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