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Steve Collins reveals his toughest opponent

The man who heralded Irish fighters as his most difficult opponents is the best Irish boxing legend Steve Collins has ever fought.

The Celtic Warrior shared the ring with some of the best boxers of his generation, including both Nigel Benn and Chirs Eubank twice.

However, he doesn’t identify either of the Brits as his toughest rival, that honour belongs to Mike McCallum.

The former WBO middleweight champion of the world challenged the eventual three-weight World champion in Boston back in 1990.

McCallum, who also fought Roscommon’s Sean Mannion, said after the WBA light middleweight World title fight that he would never share the ring with an Irish fighter again.

Collins was also impressed, indeed he says ‘The Body Snatcher’ was the best he fought.

“The best boxer was definitely Mike McCallum. He was in his prime at 33 years old and I was 26 and still learning,” said Collins when speaking to The Ring.

“Mike had beaten some of the very best fighters in the world at that point and guys like Sugar Ray Leonard wouldn’t go anywhere near him because he was so slick. I learned more in one fight with Mike McCallum than I did in my five previous fights combined, do you understand?

“He was skilful, a master at combination punching and he had everything at his disposal. He was the smartest guy I ever fought.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years