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Monday, 9 December, 2002, 11:58 GMT
Steve Collins v Joe Calzaghe
Steve Collins v Nigel Benn
How would Calzaghe have fared against Steve Collins?
Collins is perhaps the least heralded but most successful of the middleweights of the early '90s, boasting win doubles over both Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn.

The Celtic Warrior fought hard to win a place at the top table, taking the toughest challenges away from home against the likes of Mike McCallum and Sumbu Kalambay.

Never a flashy fighter, Collins was durable, in your face and punishing with his blows.

When given his chance against Chris Eubank in '95, Collins, though the WBO middleweight champion, was a stand-in for Ray Close and was not expected to trouble the long-reigning super-middleweight king.

The Irishman managed to psyche out Eubank from the start, though, with claims that he had been hypnotised and was incapable of losing!

In the fight, his hard-working approach was too much for the showboating Eubank, and the same proved true in the re-match.

If Collins never ducked a foe in his early career, there is little doubt that he stepped from Calzaghe's bludgeoning path at the end.

An ageing Collins would surely not have lived with the fast, talented, powerful and determined youngster from Wales.

But what would have happened if the two fighters had met in their prime?

Collins showed the power and ability to stop the likes of Nigel Benn, but his skill was in sapping his opponents' strength and will to resist.

Calzaghe is the superior boxer of the two, and has also shown the conditioning and desire to go the distance against the toughest challenges.

The Welshman went the full 12 for victories over quality opposition like Eubank and Charles Brewer, and even at the nadir of his form against Robin Reid he showed the sheer willpower to claim a points win.

Collins would not possess the firepower to halt Calzaghe, and a points win for the man from Newbridge is the only result.

See also:

09 Dec 02 | Sports Talk
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