Collins surprise amateur return continues to produce success

Steve Collins Jr is serious about his amateur return.

The former BUI Celtic and Irish title challenger shocked many when he put the vest on for the first time ever and fought for an Irish select at the Eindhoven Box Cup in June – and it looks like that wasn’t a once off adventure.

The Dubliner suffered final defeat in that tournament and came home with a silver in the summer, he went one better in the prestigious Celtic Box Cup last weekend.

‘The Wolfhound’ claimed victory in the Elite heavyweight category in Dungarvan, defeating Michael Reilly of St Mary’s Dublin in the decider.

The 32-year-old, who represents Dublin City Universty BC, was last seen in the pro ring in November of 2021 losing on points to Nathan Quarless. That Liverpool hosted clash was an out-of-the-blue surprise bout itself, as most believed the cruiserweight had called it a day post stoppage defeat to Cesar Mateo Tapia in Dubai a year and a half before.

It remains to be seen if the former pro rugby player will continue elite amateur level options, he would certainly be an exciting and welcome addition to the National Elite Championships, which glove off in January of next year.

Collins joined a growing list of Irish fighters with pro experience fighting amateur of late. Regan Buckley made the transition back in 2018 and went on to win European Games bronze. The Bray flyweight then retired from the game altogether before competing for bare-knuckle with BKB.

Michael McCallister did it a year earlier getting amateur status back at the fourth time of asking in June 2017, going on to fight in the Ulster Elite’s where he lost via split decision to Karol Dlugosz at Dockers club, 2017 Belfast.

Sligo’s James Lynch made the move more recently, defeating Peter Vrinceanu to be crowned Irish Defence Forces Champion and James Cahill, a former stable mate of Buckley has also returned to the amateur game.

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