“So how did Frank do against Nigel Benn?” inquires Steve Collins playfully.
“It went the distance? Well, I guess I’ll have to knock Frank out then!”
The former World Super Middleweight Champion is joking. But it’s clear, even in jest, that the competitive fires still burn within ‘The Celtic Warrior’ when it comes to his career-defining rivals Benn and Chris Eubank.
Collins is heading to the University of Cumbria in Lancaster on Saturday, October 5, when he will box local ex-pro, trainer and promoter Frank Harrington on a charity fight night.
Last December, Harrington donned the gloves to duel with Benn in an exhibition contest at Lancaster and Morecambe College.
As the only man to defeat ‘The Dark Destroyer’ and Eubank in a professional ring, twice each, in fact, it’s important to Collins that he’s still seen as the king of that all-star super middleweight scene of the 1990s.
“I had Eubank’s number,” laughs Collins, who beat the strutting showman twice for the WBO Super Middleweight Title in 1995.
“He was great for the game though and we made a lot of money.”
The all-action Collins then went on to stop Benn twice in 1996, surviving punches he described as “the hardest of my career”, before retiring suddenly in 1997.
“I wanted to fight (American superstar) Roy Jones but he was never going to fight me. I was offered up-and-coming kids like Joe Calzaghe but the money wasn’t good and the desire wasn’t there.
“But now I’m back training and really looking forward to this exhibition.”
The Collins v Harrington fight night on Saturday, October 5 includes several other ‘white collar’ bouts and will raise money for St John’s Hospice.
For tickets call Frank Harrington on 07789 261768.