Former world boxing champion Steve Collins admitted he was nervous before making his return to the ring in Lancaster.
But after his three-round comeback bout gainst Morecambe ex-pro Frank Harrington on Saturday night, ‘The Celtic Warrior’ said he was ready for a fight with American legend Roy Jones Junior.
Collins, the only man ever to defeat fight legends Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank, put on a great show for fans at the University of Cumbria.
The former world middle and super middleweight champion, 49, looked fit and sharp against Harrington, who more than held his own during a sprightly exhibition contest.
Afterwards the Irishman said: “Last time I fought was when I defended my world title (in 1997) and when I went out there tonight, wearing a robe I hadn’t worn since I last boxed professionally, and I heard the music, my legs were shaking.
“I was so nervous going in. It was like putting the clock back.
“But I felt like I could have done a lot more. If the Roy Jones fight finally comes off, it’s given me more confidence. It was a good feeling.
“I love Lancaster. I know people in the area and they remind me of the people back home in Ireland, very down-to-earth and hard-working.
“I’d love to come back. Frank is an absolute gentleman and I’d have no problem sharing a boxing ring with him at any time.”
Collins has been chasing a fight with Jones since both were world champions during the 1990s and hopes the bout will happen in 2014.
“If it doesn’t happen then it won’t be down to me,” he said.
Frank, 52, boxing trainer at Morecambe’s Red Rose Community Centre, was a useful welterweight pro during the 1980s and 1990s.
He also promoted Saturday night’s event.
“I thought it was a cracking night and Steve Collins was a genuine good guy,” said Harrington.
Sponsors were 315 Health Club, Jo and Cass: The Mens Room, and Debbie Cain and Go Morecambe provided the catering for the night.
OTHER RESULTS: Lewis Marshall from Morecambe stopped Alex Gibson from Blackpool in the second round
Natasha Leach from Morecambe boxed a controversial draw with Gemma Thomas of Wigan with most ringsiders believing Natasha had done enough to win
Anthony Lavercombe of Morecambe defeated Dan Fisher of Lancaster by three round points decision
Steven Douglas of Morecambe stopped Adam Vernon of Wigan in the first round
Special guests at the show included Bentham’s hard-hitting light heavyweight prospect Tomi Tatham who is currently undefeated in five fights as a professional.