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BBBofC boss tells Collins and Benn to leave the fighting to their kids

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The head honcho at the British Boxing Board of Control has expressed his doubts that a proposed third fight between Steve Collins and Nigel Benn will get off the ground.

The pair, who would be a combined age of 106 when the fight is mooted to take place, have agreed to meet for a third time.

However, while the two grandfathers have agreed to face-off, they are yet to submit an application for boxing licences for the bout which is planned for October or November.

While EU regulations will enable them to be licensed by the governing body of any EU state, the BBBoC would seem a natural first port of call.

General Secretary Robert Smith though doesn’t want to see the bout and notes that there has yet to have been an approach from anyone in terms of licensing and sanctioning the proposed match-up.

Smith explained to the Press Association that “you’re talking about two gentlemen who haven’t boxed for donkey’s years, but there’s nothing for us to consider at the moment.”

“I’ve not spoken to any promoters. Two weeks ago I had a phone call advising me this was being looked at, but I’ve not received anything from anyone wanting to put it on.”

“We haven’t had any applications from Nigel Benn or Steve Collins for a boxer’s licence.”

“We’re aware they haven’t boxed for a considerable amount of time, and if we do receive such applications we will have to consider all these matters.”

The two met in Manchester twice in 1996, with Collins successfully defending his WBO super middleweight title by stoppage both times. Benn retired immediately afterwards, while Dubliner Collins hung up the gloves as undefeated champion in 1997.

‘The Celtic Warrior’ returned to training in 1999, but never got back in the ring, calling off his comeback after collapsing following a sparring session with Howard Eastman.

While Collins notes that, both at the time and presently, he has no prominent detectable medical issues, Smith personally is against the fight,

The BBBoC GS added that “the only age limit we have is you’ve got to be over 18. However, the older you get, the more unlikely it is you’re going to be granted a licence.”

“Anybody can apply for a licence. We’d have to do our job properly and consider any application: whether it gets any further than that consideration I can’t tell you.”

“I’m not going to go into his [Collins] medical history, but he retired at the right time.”

“What should happen is they let their boys [Steve Collins Jr, Conor Benn, and Harley Benn] go off and forge their own careers.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie