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Rising Australian star ready to go to war with ‘Warrior’ Steve Collins Jr

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New Australian favourite Mateo Tapia [11(6)-0] says Steve Collins Jr [14(4)-3(1)-1] can have it what ever way he wants on the Rotunda Rumble 3 card on Friday.

The unbeaten Mexican born Aussie adopted super middle takes on the the former Irish title challenger at Dubai’s Caesars Palace Bluewaters.

The 21-year-old Australian champion is expecting things to get rough and tough, but warns ‘The Wolfhound’ he can match he has no problem going into the trenches if needs be.

“I know Collins Jr is a warrior and he’ll be very tough in the ring. I know he comes to fight and I expect him to be prepared properly,” said Tapia.

“I think we’re going to put on an awesome show for everyone in attendance in Dubai and the fans watching around the world.”

Collins has revealed he has refined himself immensely under the guidance of Pete Taylor and has showed he has can consult skill and not just will when he traded leather with Padraig McCrory last time out.

However, his opponent seems to suggest you can’t teach an old ‘Wolfhound’ new tricks and is predicts a physical battle in the Middle East.

“He’s tough. He’s a rugged dude but I can’t wait to face him. It’s a pretty big step up but I’ve been stepping up every fight. He’s been in there with some big names and fought for titles on big stages. He’s more experienced than me.

“I think I have all the tools to beat him and I can keep up with him if he wants to get rugged and go into deep waters. I’ll be ready for that. If I put on a great show then it will put my name out there to the northern hemisphere more. The UK and Ireland will know more about me and there are a lot of champions there,” he adds before deflecting from talk of his future.

“We don’t really look at targets or call anyone out. There are a few names I’d love to fight but whether those fights happen at some stage, we don’t know. There are a few people overseas we want and hopefully that’ll happen. We have the Collins Jr fight to worry about first.

“We are pushing up the rankings. We won’t rush but we ARE pushing! Australian boxing is on a high right now. These are exciting times for us. I don’t like looking into the future too much but I know it’s bright.”

Along with the hotly-anticipated collision between ‘El Tijuanero’ and Collins Jr, WBC International super-flyweight king Aliu Bamidele Lasisi defends his title against Norbelto Jimenez, Portlaoise star TJ Doheny looks to book another world title clash by making an example of Ionut Baluta and locally-based Rohan Date has another chance to shine.

A busy undercard sees promising Kazakh heavyweight Zhan Kossobutskiy, compatriot Nurtas Azhbenov, Indian hopefuls Lalrinsanga Tlau and Faizan Anwar and more look to make their marks on another historic event for Dubai boxing.


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com