STEVE Collins insists he is not interested in just “coming back for a payday” as his proposed bout with Roy Jones Junior moved a step closer to reality with confirmation that he had received a licence to box.
The idea was first mooted in December with a showdown between the two middleweight boxing legends suggested to make up for the lack of a bout between the pair when they were at their peak.
And Collins says it is very much a “grudge match” that he would like to see happen, having missed out on the chance to fight Jones Jr back in the late 1990s.
“This fight was supposed to happen 15 years ago, almost happened but it didn’t,” the Castleknock resident said this week during the media day for Stephen Ormond’s return to the ring on May 3.
“Therefore my career ended without the fight I always wanted. The opportunity has just come about this year to have this fight and we’re both going to go for it.”
At his height, Collins became a WBO world champion with epic wins over the likes Britain’s Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.
But the match-up between the pair was a notable absence on their records and Collins says he is still keen to update that.
“[Jones Junior] was going to retire with people always bringing it up that ‘you didn’t want to fight Collins’. He wants to remove that before he retires and get this question off his back that he ran from me.
“He said he’d fight me now if he could and I agreed to it, saying ‘if you want to do it, we can do it’.
Collins is now 48 and has not fought since 1997 while Jones is 44, leading to many suggesting that there could be health implications between two fighters well past their prime.
But the recent licence confirmation, says Collins, is proof he is good to go and has been back in training since January.
“Of course I am worried about my health. The most important thing is your health and your well-being. If I wasn’t right and the stringent tests that I have had, if they hadn’t come back 100pc posititve, this wouldn’t be happening.
“It’s not a comeback. I’m not coming back for a title shot or to build a career off it. It’s just a one-off against a guy of my generation.”
As for the financial aspect of a proposed dust-up, he adds: “There will be money involved [because] Roy Jones has a value on himself.
“An offer has been made to him for the fight but the money wasn’t enough for him. If the money is not right, the fight won’t happen but’s it’s mainly for this 15-year grudge.”