Former Irish Boxer, Steve Collins was known as The Celtic Warrior”, He is the most successful Irish boxer in professional boxing history, having held the WBO middleweight and super-middleweight titles.
Born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, Collins was the former WBO middleweight and super middleweight champion having begun his professional career in the States. In his long boxing life (1986 to 1997), he lost two world title fights on points, but won 36 of the total 39 bouts he had, 21 of which came by knockout.
Steve was considered a late developer who really fully fulfilled his potential in his thirties. Becoming WBO middleweight champion in his third world title attempt in 1994. The next year, he won the WBO super-middleweight title and defended it seven times before retiring from the sport. Having competed against the best boxers on both sides of the Atlantic, Steve tends to be linked more to an era in the UK during which there was a high profile rivalry between British boxers Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, both of whom he fought and defeated twice. It is those big triumphant fights the public remember best.
Video: Steve Collins vs Chris Eubank I
Steve learned his trade out in America where he went out to be professionally trained in Boston. His first nineteen professional fights all took place in the United States. In 1988 he won the Irish middleweight title, and the regional American USBA middleweight title the following year, defending the latter successfully in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. In his first two world championship challenges, both for the WBA middleweight title, Collins lost split decisions to Mike McCallum in 1990 and Reggie Johnson in 1992. He also challenged unsuccessfully for the European middleweight title in 1992, losing a split decision to Sumbu Kalambay in Italy.
Video: Nigel Benn vs Steve Collins 1
Since hanging up his gloves, Collins has remained in the spotlight and in 1998 appeared in cult Brit flick Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, directed by Guy Ritchie, as a boxing gym bouncer, and also appeared in the video for U2’s hit single “Sweetest Thing”.
In 2017 Collins joined the Army Reserve’s 253 Provost Company of the 4th Regiment Royal Military Police in London where he had been living for the previous 20 years. He gained promotion to Lance Corporal and qualified as an army boxing coach.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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