by Seamus Hanratty: “The Celtic warrior” Steve Collins has announced a comeback fight at the age of 48, against former Boxing great Roy Jones Junior. In a comeback that amounts to a cross between a Walt Disney fairytale and a drug induced nightmare, the legendary Irish scrapper who in his hay day managed to win world titles against both Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, and later defended his belts some eight times, announced to the world that he intends to fight American Jones in the near future.
Collins, who also enjoyed some titanic struggles with middleweight champions Mike McCallum and Sumbu Kalambay in the early part of his career, stated that “It’s a fight Roy Jones needs. He claims to be one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters around but he refused to fight me.” Quite what planet Collins was on when he made the quote above remains to be seen, but it does seem far removed from the one we currently inhabit. It’s clear that both fighters need this fight as much as the average man needs to impregnate his boss’s daughter with triplets.
At the age of 48, and in particular, due to his 15 year absence from the ring one feels Collins, like a good horse, should stay firmly out to pasture. His opponent Roy Jones Junior, now at the age of 44, who should have retired nearly 10 years ago when he got brutally knocked out by Antonio Tarver is the man ready to take on the challenge. The American legend who previously only lost one in 50 fights, and that sole defeat was a disqualification loss, has now gone on to lose 7 of his last 13 fights and been knocked out 4 times.
In Boxing terms both fighters are Dinosaurs. Geriatrics, on their last throw of the dice, only they’re too old and frail to even throw the dice. If one wants to imagine what this fight would be like then simply get your DVD of past fights and put it in slow mode. The matchup is something akin to two old age pensioners in wheelchairs going at each other furiously with handbags for a few mad moments. A freak show! One has to hope that neither Jones nor Collins old weakened bladders give way with the excitement of the occasion.
What if one of the fighters takes a nap and dozes off in between rounds? Does the victor of the fight win a pair of slippers? An electric blanket or a water bottle? All of these questions need to be asked because they’re just as ridiculous as the proposed fight. Jones recently expressed the opinion that he will continue Boxing until he captures a Cruiserweight title, but such wild dreams are of a dangerous quality. This is not Rocky, but real life where fighters can get badly hurt.
What we really have here is one of the more unfortunate aspects of Boxing where our heroes just can’t hang their gloves up permanently. They are lured back by the what ifs and dreams of trying to recapture past glories .But ultimately they only risk serious injury, brain damage, and even death, by refusing to acknowledge that their time is up. It’s a bit like a man in his late fifties after consuming a few delusion inducing beers still believing he can pull the twenty year old blonde at the end of the Bar, but he can’t, he just embarrasses himself and freaks out the Blonde.