IRISH boxing legend Steve Collins has spoken for the first time about his return to the boxing ring warning the Leicester builder who he will fight on Saturday to be ‘sensible’.
The 48-year-old former world title holder is gearing up to face Steve Grieves – a builder from Leicester – in a sell-out exhibition at the Maher Centre in the midland city, 16 years after Collins’ hung up his gloves.
The Dubliner sees the bout as one to keep him ready for a much-touted clash with Roy Jones Jnr. Collins told the Irish Post that the Leicester clash will keep him “ticking over for when the Jones fight is agreed.”
He said: “These exhibitions, for me I’m very relaxed about it. For guys like Grieves, to him, to get in with a former World Champion, they’d like to make a name for themselves.
“They do try it on, but they forget that at the flick of a switch I can turn this around very quick. I hope for his sake he’s sensible.
“I’m doing this exhibition because it’s a reason to stay active. I work on a farm, I’m always fit. Once or twice a week I go to the boxing gym.”
Collins was expected to face the great Roy Jones Jr – who has won world honours from middleweight to heavyweight – later this year, but the fight appears unlikely to take place even though a verbal agreement was made.
The highly anticipated meeting was arranged to settle an ’18-year grudge’ that he had with the American.
‘What’s going on with the Roy Jones fight at the moment is that he’s now agreed to fight somebody else breaching the agreement that him and I had,’ he said.
‘There could be a situation there. I’ve been told that he is fighting another guy for the same title that we agreed the fight for, so it appears he has backed out of it again.
‘I’m seeking legal advice to find out what’s going on. We may try and block that fight.’
Collins is arguably Ireland’s most accomplished boxer of all time; he is the only Irishman to win world titles at two weights and has previously beaten Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn.
The exhibition fight between Steve Collins and Steve Grieves will take place on Saturday 30 November at the Maher Centre in Leicester and is sold-out.