Steve Collins walked into Millstreet and down memory last weekend.
One of Ireland’s greatest ever fighters returned to the scene of his famous 1995 victory over Chris Eubank Jr.
Covid prevented the 25th anniversary of the historic fight from being celebrated but Cork rolled out the red carpet for the Dubliner 26 years on.
Part of the weekend-long celebrations was a trip to Milstreet, the surprise but successful venue for the fight. More than 8000 packed into the ‘shed’ to watch Collins become the first man to beat the biggest name in British boxing at the time.
“I remember entering the ring first as the contender, absorbing it all, a feeling of being in a sauna, the massive crowd, the positive vibes, I just knew history was in the making,” recalls Collins. “Dwelling back, I couldn’t had got a better venue and more than 25 years later I’ve returned.
“Listening to fans down through the years, there must have been 25,000 people at the fight, maybe some not even born,” he adds.
“At the time, I couldn’t sell out in Dublin, I fought twice in the Green Glens and also at Pairc Uí Chaoimh. They could have sold out twice over, for some reason, there was a terrific response to Millstreet and Cork, being a Collins, there has to be a connection with Cork,” he said.
The Millstreet visit was only part of a weekend of activities celebrating that success 26 years ogo. There was a plaque unveiled at the famous ‘Boxing Wall’ in Bishop Lucey Park, the first non Cork man to celebrate there. There was also a visit to City Hall where Collins spent some time with the Lord Major, a trip to Pairc Ui Chaoimh where he successfully defended his title against Eubank, and a banquet at the Kingsley Hotel.