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29th Jun 2017

Nigel Benn and Steve Collins are legitimately going to fight again, 21 years since last meeting

This is not a joke

Darragh Murphy

Just when you thought boxing couldn’t get any more bonkers.

2017 has seen boxing storm back into the lead in the battle for combat sports dominance, getting their noses in front of MMA again.

We’ve seen the best agree to fight the best in the form of Joshua vs. Klitschko, Ward vs. Kovalev II and Golovkin vs. ‘Canelo’.

And we’ve also seen the bizarre boxing match between 49-0 legend Floyd Mayweather and complete novice Conor McGregor agreed upon.

Well things have just taken a turn for the even weirder as, apparently, Nigel Benn and Steve Collins are going to complete their trilogy over two decades since they last fought.

Both men, now in their fifties, have told BBC Sport that they intend to dust off their gloves for a clash before the year is out.

This is not a joke!

Conscious that the British Boxing Board of Control may not sanction a bout between a 53-year-old and a 52-year-old, Benn and Collins are willing to travel abroad to a more lenient sanctioning body.

Collins defeated ‘The Dark Destroyer’ on two occasions in 1996, retaining his WBO super-middleweight title in the process. And Benn wants vengeance, insisting that a third fight could take place in October or November.

“It’s about the final chapter,” Benn said. “It’s about closure.

“I was going backwards and forwards with Chris [Eubank] and I thought: ‘I wouldn’t have a problem with Steve.’ So I asked him if he wants to fight. He said yes. No mucking about.”

Benn retired immediately after his pair of defeats to ‘The Celtic Warrior’ but he wants one last chance to get that win against the only man to beat him twice.

Dublin’s Collins is open to the fight and was refreshingly honest when he gave his reasons for being so.

“It’s just about money, a payday which will allow me to buy some more land,” he said.

“I have no problem for Nigel. I have a lot of respect. I like him.”

The sons of both men, Conor Benn and Steve Collins Jr. are now respected professional boxers in their own rights but the old dogs want to prove that there’s a bit more fight in them yet.