The pair face off for the BUI Celtic light heavyweight title on the Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson undercard at Windsor Park on August 18th.
The eight-round stepping stone title is a first major step up for Ward and it comes against an opponent he has the utmost respect fair.
Managerial stablemates, the 175lbs duo both featured on the Danger at The Devenish last September in Belfast where they shared a meal beforehand.
Ward [7(3)-0] recalled how “we were both boxing on a small-hall show in Belfast last year and after the weigh-in we went to get some food.”
“He came across as a good person when we were talking and he actually paid the bill. Steve left five minutes before me, and I when I got up to pay for my food he’s already squared the bill.”
“I can’t pay him back before the fight because I am going to win, but perhaps I will take him out in Belfast after our fight.
The Newtownabbey man is confident of victory against Collins [12(4)-1(0)-1].
While the Commonwealth silver medallist had a vast amateur career, Collins never stepped into the ring as an amateur, with his pro debut being his first ever fight.
‘The Wolfhound’ has mixed it at a higher level than Ward in the pros, scoring a credible eight-round win over Pablo Sosa last year before losing an Irish title fight to Paddy McDonagh.
Ward feels the Castleknock puncher is well suited to him and is planning to kick-on in his career in less than four weeks time.
The Jamie Moore-trained puncher outlined how “I haven’t see too much of Steve as a boxer, but I know he is a really nice fella’.
“I did watch the Ward fight and Steve comes forward, is aggressive and will be right in front of me.”
“It is a good fight for the stage that I am at in my career and one where a win will kick me on.”